Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group

Beckman Institute

Room 3057

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

405 N. Mathews Ave., Urbana, IL 61801

Email Address:

Intrigued by the myriad of function protein can possess, Chang Sun pursued a Ph.D. in biochemistry at UIUC. He had worked with a variety of bioenergetically important membrane proteins such as photosynthetic reaction center and bo3 ubiquinol oxidase during his graduate training by Colin A. Wraight and Robert B. Gennis. Specifically, he had studied how the protein matrix can tune the property of intermediate states of cofactors during catalytic cycle using pulsed electron magnetic resonance spectroscopy. As a result, he realized the important role of protein structures in dictating their corresponding biological functions. After receiving his doctorate degree in 2016, he became interested in structure determination of membrane proteins using cryo-EM and started to collaborate with John Rubinstein's group in University of Toronto. In 2017, he joined Emad Tajkhorshid's research group and had been focusing on modeling atomic structure from the cryo-EM density maps. He is also interested in using molecular dynamics simulation to better understand protein functions.


  • Ph.D, Biochemistry, 2016.
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Advisor: Prof. Robert B. Gennis

  • B.S., Pharmacy, 2010.
  • Fudan University

Research Interests

  • Cryo-EM
  • Optical and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Computational Biology
  • Bioenergetics and Neuroscience


  • Structure of the alternative complex III in a supercomplex with cytochrome oxidase
  • Chang Sun, Samir Benlekbir, Padmaja Venkatakrishnan, Yuhang Wang, Emad Tajkhorshid, John L. Rubinstein, Robert B. Gennis, Nature, 2018, 557, 123-126
  • X-ray transparent microfluidic chips for high-throughput screening and optimization of in meso membrane protein crystallization
  • Jeremy M. Schieferstein, Ashtamurthy S. Pawate, Chang Sun, Frank Wan, Paige N. Sheraden, Jana Broecker, Oliver P. Ernst, Robert B. Gennis, Paul J.A. Kennis, Biomicrofluidics, 2017, 11(2), 024118
  • Q-band electron-nuclear double resonance reveals out-of-plane hydrogen bonds stabilize an anionic ubisemiquinone in cytochrome bo3 from Escherichia coli
  • Chang Sun, Alexander T. Taguchi, Josh V. Vermaas, Nathan J. Beal, Patrick J. OMalley, Emad Tajkhorshid, Robert B. Gennis, Sergei A. Dikanov, Biochemistry, 2016, 55(40), 5714-5725