Download Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Rosen is the Chair of the Department of Biophysics at UT Southwestern Medical Center and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  Dr. Rosen received undergraduate degrees in chemistry and in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1987.  He then spent a year in Alan Battersby’s lab in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge as a Winston Churchill Foundation Scholar.  He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Harvard University in 1993 under the direction of Stuart Schreiber, where he studied the structure and function of the FK506 binding protein, FKBP12.  He was a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell post-doctoral fellow in the laboratories of Tony Pawson and Lewis Kay at the University of Toronto, where he studied regulation of the signaling adaptor protein, Crk, and developed methods of selective methyl group labeling of proteins for NMR spectroscopy.  Dr. Rosen started his independent laboratory in 1996 in the Cellular Biochemistry and Biophysics Program at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and moved to UTSW in 2001. 

The Rosen lab seeks to understand the formation, regulation and functions of enigmatic, cellular compartments termed biomolecular condensates.  These evolutionarily conserved structures concentrate diverse but specific groups of molecules without a surrounding membrane.  Condensates appear to form through the physical process of liquid-liquid phase separation.  Using a range of techniques, including biochemical reconstitution and in vitro and cellular microsopies, we investigate phase separation in both engineered and natural condensates.  The former, in their simplified nature, enable precise isolation of key molecular parameters governing condensate behaviors, revealing general principles. The latter allow demonstration of these principles in more complex natural biochemical and cellular systems.  Ultimately, we seek to understand cell organization on scales spanning nanometers to microns.

The Rosen lab website can be found at:



University of Michigan-Ann Arb (1987), Chemical Engineering
University of Michigan-Ann Arb (1987), Chemistry
Graduate School
Harvard University (1993), Organic Chemistry

Research Interest

  • biochemistry
  • Biological phase separation
  • cell biology of the actin cytoskeleton
  • polymer physics/chemistry
  • structural biology


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Genetically encoded photoswitching of actin assembly through the Cdc42-WASP-Arp2/3 complex pathway.
Leung DW, Otomo C, Chory J, Rosen MK Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2008 Sep 105 35 12797-802
Estimation of the available free energy in a LOV2-J alpha photoswitch.
Yao X, Rosen MK, Gardner KH Nat. Chem. Biol. 2008 Aug 4 8 491-7
Structural mechanism of WASP activation by the enterohaemorrhagic E. coli effector EspF(U).
Cheng HC, Skehan BM, Campellone KG, Leong JM, Rosen MK Nature 2008 Aug 454 7207 1009-13
Internal dynamics control activation and activity of the autoinhibited Vav DH domain.
Li P, Martins IR, Amarasinghe GK, Rosen MK Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 2008 Jun 15 6 613-8
Structural Mechanism of WASP Activation by the Enterohaemorrhagic E. Coli Effector EspFu
Cheng, H.-C., Skehan, B. M., Leong, J. M., Rosen, M. K. Nature May 2008 454 1009-1013
Internal Dynamics Control Activation and Activity of the Autoinhibited Vav DH Domain
Li, P., Martins, I. R. S., Amarasinghe, G. K. and Rosen, M. K. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology May 2008 15(6) 613-618
Hierarchical Regulation of WASP/WAVE Proteins
Padrick, S. B., Cheng, H.-C. C., Ismail, A., Panchal, S. C., Doolittle, L. K., Kim, S., Skehan, B.M., Umetani, J., Brautigam, C. A., Leong, J. M., Rosen, M. K. Mol. Cell 2008 32 426-438
Arp2/3-independent assembly of actin by Vibrio type III effector VopL.
Liverman AD, Cheng HC, Trosky JE, Leung DW, Yarbrough ML, Burdette DL, Rosen MK, Orth K Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2007 Oct 104 43 17117-22
Signal transduction pathway of TonB-dependent transporters.
Ferguson AD, Amezcua CA, Halabi NM, Chelliah Y, Rosen MK, Ranganathan R, Deisenhofer J Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2007 Jan 104 2 513-8
Autoinhibition regulates cellular localization and actin assembly activity of the diaphanous-related formins FRLalpha and mDia1.
Seth A, Otomo C, Rosen MK J. Cell Biol. 2006 Aug 174 5 701-13

Honors & Awards

  • Allen Distinguished Investigator, a program funded through The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group
  • Emil Kaiser Award, Protein Society
  • Mar Nell and F. Andrew Bell Distinguished Chair in Biochemistry
  • Carolyn R. Bacon Professorship in Medical Science and Education
  • Edith & Peter O’Donnell Award from the Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Boyer Award, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Sidney Kimmel Scholar Award
  • Beckman Young Investigator
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)
  • Winston Churchill Scholar