Zimei Bu


Main Affiliation

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Areas of Expertise/Research

  • Chemistry


Marshak Science Building





Zimei Bu


Biophysics, biochemistry, cell signaling, protein structure, protein dynamics, neutron scattering, small angle X-ray scattering.


B.Engineering, Polymer Science and Materials, 1985, Sichuan University, China

PhD., Chemistry, 1994, Louisiana State University

NIH NRSA Postdoctoral fellow, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, 1994-1999, Yale University

Courses Taught

Chem 10301 general chemistry

Chem 26200 Organic Chemistry Lab

Chem43500 Physical Biochemistry

Chem80541 advanced seminar in molecular biophysics

Professional Experience



Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, CCNY

Associate Professor


Department Chemistry & Biochemistry, CCNY

Assistant Professor


Fox Chase Cancer Center/Biomolecular Structure program, Philadelphia, PA



National Institute of Standards & Technology

Gaithersburg, MD

Associate Scientist


Yale University/Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry, New Haven, CT

NIH Postdoctoral Fellow


Yale University/Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry, New Haven, CT


Research Interests

We study how cell signaling proteins transduce signals to control cellular functions.

We are particularly interested in studying the structural and dynamic mechanisms of transmembrane cell adhesion molecules, receptors, as well as the intracellular molecules that influence the assembly and function of these transmembrane proteins.  These proteins function as molecular machines and switches, which can fail to work properly for various reasons, causing diseases such as cancer and cystic fibrosis.  

We employ a variety of biochemical and cell biological experiments, as well as biophysical and structural biology techniques, including small angle X-ray and neutron scattering, to study the structure, dynamics, and interactions of these cell signaling proteins.

We  also utilize and develop quasielastic neutron scattering methods, particularly neutron spin echo spectroscopy (NSE), to study protein dynamics and protein domain motion.  We have developed a theoretical framework using statistical mechanics to interpret the NSE data.  These methods allow us to see, for the first time, the structure and dynamics of significant protein interactions on nanoscales.  NSE fills an important information gap in our ability to study protein motion on sub-microsecond time scales and on nanomenter length scales.