Klaus Hahn

Klaus M. Hahn

Ronald Thurman Distinguished Professor
Department of Pharmacology

Joint Professor
Division of Medicinal Chemistry & Natural Products
School of Pharmacy

Director, UNC-Olympus Imaging Center

Fellow, American Association for the
Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Ph.D., Chemistry
University of Virgina

Biosketch [.pdf]

Hahn Lab Website [hahnlab.com]

Contact Information ->>

Research Interests

  • Spatio-temporal dynamics of signaling networks
  • New tools for imaging and manipulation of protein activity in living cells and animals

Research Synopsis

The cell is a continuous network of interacting molecules, constantly changing  on many scales of size and time.  In response  to a subtle balance of extracellular cues, cellular networks undergo precisely orchestrated dynamics to produce cell behaviors. To understand how network dynamics integrate extracellular signals, we are developing molecular tools to view and manipulate protein behavior in living cells and animals. We use protein engineering and organic synthesis to develop molecules whose fluorescence reflects protein structural changes, and molecules that can be controlled within cells using light or engineered allosteric responses. These are coupled with our collaborators’ development of new modes of microscopy and novel computational approaches to model the spatio-temporal dynamics of signaling networks. This collaborative and synergistic approach enables us to probe dynamic network behaviors that are essential to cell function and can only be fully understood by studying molecular activity in living systems.

In case of broken links please go to hahnlab.com for Hahn lab website.


Click above for PubMed publications.

Publications not on PubMed

Recent Publications

  • Allen, R.J., Tsygankov, D., Zawistowski, J.S., Elston, T.C., Hahn, K.M. Automated line scan analysis to quantify biosensor activity at the cell edge. Methods. 2013 Aug 30. doi:pii: S1046-2023(13)00340-X. 10.1016/j.ymeth.2013.08.025. [Epub ahead of print] Abstract
  • Zawistowski, J.S., Sabouri-Ghomi, M., Danuser, G., Hahn, K.M., Hodgson, L. (2013) A RhoC Biosensor Reveals Differences in the Activation Kinetics of RhoA and RhoC in Migrating Cells. PLoS One 8(11): e79877. Abstract
  • Moffat, K., Zhang, F., Hahn, K.M., and Möglich, A. (2013) The biophysics and engineering of signaling photoreceptors, in Optogenetics, Peter Hegemann and Stephan Sigrist, editors, De Gruyter, Berlin; Chp. 1, pp. 7-22.
  • Dietz, D.M., Sun, H., Lobo, M.K., Cahill, M.E., Chadwick, B., Gao, V., Koo, J.W., Mazei-Robison, M.S., Dias, C., Maze, I., Damez-Werno, D., Dietz, K.C., Scobie, K.N., Ferguson, D., Christoffel, D., Ohnishi, Y., Hodes, G.E., Zheng, Y., Neve, R.L., Hahn, K.M., Russo, S.J., and Nestler, E.J. (2012) Rac1 is essential in cocaine-induced structural plasticity of nucleus accumbens neurons Nat Neurosci. 15(6): 891-896.  Abstract
  • Welch, C.M., Elliott, H., Danuser, G., and Hahn, K.M. (2011) Imaging the coordination of multiple signalling activities in living cells. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 12: 749-756. Abstract
  • Karginov AV, Zou Y, Shirvanyants D, Kota P, Dokholyan NV, Young DD, Hahn KM, and Deiters A. (2010) Light Regulation of Protein Dimerization and Kinase Activity in Living Cells Using Photocaged Rapamycin and Engineered FKBP. J Am Chem Soc 133: 420-423. Abstract
  • Karginov, A.V., Ding, F., Kota, P., Dokholyan, N.V., and Hahn, K.M. (2010) Engineered allosteric activation of kinases in living cells. Nature Biotech 28(7): 743-7.  Abstract
  • Wang, X., He L, Wu, Y.I., Hahn, K.M., and Montell, D.J. (2010) Light-mediated activation reveals a key role for Rac in collective guidance of cell movement in vivo. Nat Cell Biol 12(6): 591-7, 201. Abstract
  • Wu, Y, Frey, D., Lungu, O. I., Jaehrig, A., Schlichting, I., Kuhlman, B. and Hahn, K.M. (2009) Genetically-encoded photoactivatable Rac reveals spatiotemporal coordination of Rac and Rho during cell motility. Nature 461: 104-110. Abstract
  • Machacek, M., Hodson, L., Welch, C., Elliot, H., Pertz, O., Nalbant, P., Abell, A., Johnson, G., Hahn, K.M. and Danuser, G. (2009) Coordination of Rho GTPase activities during cell protrusion. Nature 461: 99-103. Abstract
  • Pertz, O., Hodgson, L., Klemke, R.L., and Hahn, K.M. (2006) Spatiotemporal dynamics of RhoA activity in migrating cells. Nature 440: 1069-1072. Abstract
  • Nalbant, P., Hodgson, L., . Kraynov, V, Toutchkine, A., and Hahn, K.M. (2004) Activation of Endogenous Cdc42 Visualized in Living Cells. Science 305(5690): 1615-1619. Abstract
  • Toutchkine, A., Kraynov, V., and Hahn, K.M. Solvent-Sensitive Dyes to Report Protein Conformational Changes in Living Cells.(2003) J Amer Chem Soc 125: 4132-4145. Abstract

Contact Information

Office Location:
4043 Genetic Medicine

Mailing Address:
CB # 7365
UNC-CH School of Medicine
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7365

Office Phone: 919-843-2775
Fax: 919-966-5640



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