John Riordan

Keywords: Cystic Fibrosis, CFTR, Membrane Protein, ABC transporter

John Riordan

Michael Hooker Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics
(PhD - University of Toronto)

6107 Thurston-Bowles
CB# 7248
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7260


  • Co-Chair, North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference: 2016
  • Honorary Doctor of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University: 2010
  • European Cystic Fibrosis Society Award: 2009
  • Michael Hooker Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics: 2006


Mammals use three distinct pathways for repairing chromosome breaks. My lab is interested in the mechanistic details of how each pathway works, but also how and why a given pathway is chosen, and the consequences of choosing the “wrong” pathway. Our work has relevance to normal organismal development and aging, as well as carcinogenesis and cancer therapy. Notably, repair of chromosome breaks is also central to genome engineering.

We use diverse approaches, including biochemical analyses and somatic cell genetics. We also work closely with a wide variety of labs with expertise in protein structure determination, biophysics, cell biology, and model organism genetics.


  • Riordan JR CFTR Function and Prospects for Therapy. Annu Rev Biochem 2008 77: 701-26.
  • Aleksandrov AA, Kota P, Cui L, Jensen T, Alekseev AE, Reyes S, He L, Gentzsch M, Aleksandrov LA, Dokholyan NV, Riordan JR. Allosteric Modulation Balances Thermodynamic Stability and Restores Function of ΔF508 CFTR. J Mol Biol. 2012; 419,41-60
  • He L, Kota P, Aleksandrov AA, Cui L, Jensen T, Dokholyan NV, Riordan JR. Correctors of ΔF508 CFTR restore global conformational maturation without thermally stabilizing the mutant protein. FASEB J. 2013; 27:536-45.
  • He L, Aleksandrov AA, An J, Cui L, Yang Z, Brouillette CG, Riordan JR. Restoration of NBD1 Thermal Stability Is Necessary and Sufficient to Correct ∆F508 CFTR Folding and Assembly. J Mol Biol. 2015;427(1):106-20. 
  • Aleksandrov LA, Jensen TJ, Cui L, Kousouros JN, He L, Aleksandrov AA, Riordan JR. Thermal stability of purified and reconstituted CFTR in a locked open channel conformation. Protein Expr Purif. 2015;116:159-66.

Link to all pubs

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