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Single Molecule Biophysics

atomic force microscope TypeB composite

An ultrastable single molecule measurement platform (image credit: Greg Kubler)

Individual biological molecules can be directly interrogated by techniques such as atomic force microscopy (AFM). In contrast, bulk methods yield ensemble averages that can obscure asynchronous activities.

Further, traditional structural characterization techniques are notoriously difficult to apply to membrane proteins. However, these ubiquitous and pharmaceutically significant molecules are well suited to high-resolution AFM investigations.

We are developing and implementing high-precision single molecule techniques to shed light on the structure, structural energetics, and conformational dynamics of biomolecules including membrane proteins.

A central question is: How does the dynamic structure of these molecules influence their function?



  • The Hessian Blob Algorithm is published Kudo's to Brendan!
  • Tina succefully defends her PhD thesis - major congrats to Dr. Matin!!
  • Brendan Marsh receives the 2017 Mark Twain Fellowship
  • Kudos to Tina Matin et. al! Paper published in Langmuir
  • Brendan Marsh recieves an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship!!
  • Congrats to Dr. Sigdel for recieving a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Collaborative Research Travel Grant

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Contact Information

  • Prof. Gavin M. King
  • Department of Physics
  • Joint with Biochemistry
  • University of Missouri
  • 223 Physics Building UMC
  • Columbia MO 65211-7010
  • office: (573) 882-3217
  • lab: (573) 884-6795