Brian Crane
Professor & Director of Graduate Studies CCB

Brian Crane


(607) 254-8634


Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
336 Physical Sciences Building
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853


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Brian Crane is a Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.  He earned a B.S. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Manitoba in 1990 and a Ph.D. degree in Biophysical Chemistry from the Scripps Research Institute in 1996.  He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Scripps Research Institute from 1996-1997 and the California Institute of Technology from 1997-2000.  In 2000, he joined the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology as an Assistant Professor.

Research Description

The Crane group studies structure, function and mechanism of protein systems that underlie signal transduction. Of particular emphasis are processes mediated by redox and photochemistry and those dependent on highly cooperative macromolecular assemblies. Projects include understanding circadian clock light sensors, bacterial transmembrane signaling, nitric oxide enzymology and general aspects of protein electron transfer.


Vaidya AT, Chen CH, Dunlap JC, Loros JJ, Crane BR. Structure of a Light-Activated LOV Protein Dimer That Regulates Transcription. Sci Signal. 2011, 4

Paul K, Gonzalez-Bonet G, Bilwes AM, Crane BR, Blair D. Architecture of the flagellar rotor. EMBO J. 2011, 30, 2962-71.

Airola MV, Watts KJ, Bilwes AM, Crane BR. Structure of concatenated HAMP domains provides a mechanism for signal transduction. Structure 2010, 18, 436-48.

Bhatnagar J, Borbat PP, Pollard AM, Bilwes AM, Freed JH, Crane BR. Structure of the ternary complex formed by a chemotaxis receptor signaling domain, the CheA histidine kinase, and the coupling protein CheW as determined by pulsed dipolar ESR spectroscopy. Biochemistry 2010, 49, 3824-41.

Patel BA, Moreau M, Widom J, Chen H, Yin L, Hua Y, Crane BR. Endogenous nitric oxide regulates the recovery of the radiation-resistant bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans from exposure to UV light. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2009, 106, 18183-8.

Zoltowski BD, Vaccaro B, Crane BR. Mechanism-based tuning of a LOV domain photoreceptor. Nat Chem Biol. 2009, 5, 827-34.

Zoltowski, B.D., Schwerdtfeger, C., Widom, J. Loros, J.J., Bilwes, A. M., Dunlap, J., C. & Crane, B.R. Conformational switching in the fungal light sensor Vivid. Science, 2007, 316 1054-1057.

Park, S. Y., Borbat, P. P., Gonzalez-Bonet, G., Bhatnagar, J., Freed, J. H., Bilwes, A. M. & Crane, B. R. Reconstruction of the chemotaxis receptor:kinase assembly Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol., 2006, 13, 400-407.

Chao, X., Muff, T., Park, S., Zhang, S., Pollard, A. M., Ordal, G., Bilwes, A. M. & Crane, B.R. A receptor-modifying deamidase in complex with a signaling phosphatase reveals a mechanism of reciprocal regulation. Cell, 2006, 124, 561-571.

Kang, S. A. & Crane, B.R. Effects of interface mutations on association modes and electron transfer rates between proteins. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2005, 102, 15465-15470.

Kers, J. A., Wach, M. J., Krasnoff, S. B., Widom, J., Cameron, K. D., Bukhalid, R. A., Gibson, D. M., Crane, B. R. & Loria, R. Nitration of a peptide phytotoxin by bacterial nitric oxide synthase. Nature, 2004, 429, 79-82.