The Faculty


Function and molecular basis of rapid, reversible assembly of proteins and RNA into massive heterogeneous structures in response to cellular stress


Ph.D., Computation & Neural Systems, California Institute of Technology

B.S.E., Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Princeton UniversityResearch Summary / Selected Publications

Research Interests

What are the spectrum, frequency and consequences of errors in protein synthesis? How do eukaryotic cells sense and respond to misfolded proteins, particularly in the cytosol? How does stochasticity in protein synthesis alter the composition and stability of the proteome? Are some errors beneficial? Does error-induced protein misfolding influence the progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS?

We are pursuing mechanistic answers to these questions, taking a biochemical and genetic approach, with an emphasis on developing high-resolution, high-mass-accuracy mass spectrometric techniques for proteome-scale quantitation. From a theoretical standpoint, we are interested in understanding the imprints that natural selection on fidelity and misfolding leave on evolving genes and genomes.

Select Papers

Daily cycles of reversible protein condensation in cyanobacteria
Pattanayak GK, Liao Y, Wallace EWJ, Budnik BA, Drummond DA, Rust MJ, Cell Reports 32 (7) :108032 (2020).

Transient intracellular acidification regulates the core transcriptional heat shock response
Triandafillou CG, Katanski CD, Dinner AR, Drummond DA, eLife 2020 (9) :e54880 (2020).

Cellular sensing by phase separation: Using the process, not just the products
Yoo H, Triandafillou CG, Drummond DA, Journal of Biological Chemistry 294 (18) :7151-7159 (2019).

A Nobel Prize for evolution
McCully AL, Behringer MG, Gliessman JR, Pilipenko EV, Mazny JL, Lynch M, Drummond DA, McKinlay JB, Evolution (2019).

An Escherichia coli nitrogen starvation response is important for mutualistic coexistence with Rhodopseudomonas palustris
McCully AL, Behringer MG, Gliessman JR, Pilipenko EV, Mazny JL, Lynch M, Drummond DA, McKinlay JB, Applied and Environmental Microbiology (2018).

Stress-triggered phase separation is an adaptive, evolutionarily tuned response
Riback JA, Katanski CD, Kear-Scott JL, Pilipenko EV, Rojek AE, Sosnick TR, Drummond DA, Cell 168 (6) :1028–1040 (2017).

Heat Shock Factor 1: from fire chief to crowd-control specialist
Triandafillou CG and Drummond DA, Molecular Cell 63 (1) :1—2 (2016).

Wallace EW, Kear-Scott JL, Pilipenko EV, Schwartz MH, Laskowski PR, Rojek AE, Katanski CD, Riback JA, Dion MF, Franks AM, Airoldi EM, Pan T, Budnik BA, Drummond DA.“Reversible, Specific, Active Aggregates of Endogenous Proteins Assemble upon Heat Stress.”Cell. Sep 10;162(6):1286-98. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.08.041 (2015).