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

Chemical inhibition of N-WASP by stabilization of a native autoinhibited conformation.
Peterson JR, Bickford LC, Morgan D, Kim AS, Ouerfelli O, Kirschner MW, Rosen MK Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 2004 Aug 11 8 747-55
A two-state allosteric model for autoinhibition rationalizes WASP signal integration and targeting.
Buck M, Xu W, Rosen MK J. Mol. Biol. 2004 Apr 338 2 271-85
Itk functions to control actin polymerization at the immune synapse through localized activation of Cdc42 and WASP.
Labno CM, Lewis CM, You D, Leung DW, Takesono A, Kamberos N, Seth A, Finkelstein LD, Rosen MK, Schwartzberg PL, Burkhardt JK Curr. Biol. 2003 Sep 13 18 1619-24
A conserved amphipathic helix in WASP/Scar proteins is essential for activation of Arp2/3 complex.
Panchal SC, Kaiser DA, Torres E, Pollard TD, Rosen MK Nat. Struct. Biol. 2003 Aug 10 8 591-8
NMR analysis of methyl groups at 100-500 kDa: model systems and Arp2/3 complex.
Kreishman-Deitrick M, Egile C, Hoyt DW, Ford JJ, Li R, Rosen MK Biochemistry 2003 Jul 42 28 8579-86
Contingent phosphorylation/dephosphorylation provides a mechanism of molecular memory in WASP.
Torres E, Rosen MK Mol. Cell 2003 May 11 5 1215-27
Rational design of genetically encoded fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based sensors of cellular Cdc42 signaling.
Seth A, Otomo T, Yin HL, Rosen MK Biochemistry 2003 Apr 42 14 3997-4008
Structure of Cdc42 in a complex with the GTPase-binding domain of the cell polarity protein, Par6.
Garrard SM, Capaldo CT, Gao L, Rosen MK, Macara IG, Tomchick DR EMBO J. 2003 Mar 22 5 1125-33
Uncoupling Kapbeta2 substrate dissociation and ran binding.
Chook YM, Jung A, Rosen MK, Blobel G Biochemistry 2002 Jun 41 22 6955-66
Ignition of a cellular machine.
Kreishman-Deitrick M, Rosen MK, Kreishman-Deltrick M Nat. Cell Biol. 2002 Feb 4 2 E31-3

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