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Rockford K Draper
Professor-Biological Sciences
Office MailstopFounders North, Room No.: FO3620B 
Email Address    Primary Phone Number 972-883-2512    URL UTD Webpage    Media Contact
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Square, Eloise
 Professional Preparation
 Postdoc California Institute of Technology1980
 Ph.D.Biological ChemistryUniversity of California Los Angeles1974
 B.A.ChemistryUniversity of Southern California1973
Collapse Section Expand Section Research and Expertise
Dr. Draper's research interests are the molecular mechanisms of membrane trafficking in eukaryotic cells and applications of molecular and cell biology to the emerging field of bionanotechnology. Biology projects currently underway include the use small interfering RNA (siRNA) fragments to suppress proteins involved in membrane traffic and the study of coat protein that function in the Golgi complex. Bionanotechnology projects include interfacing proteins with carbon nanotubes and the use of nanoelectrodes to study neural function.

Research Interests
Two challenges for effectively exploiting the remarkable properties of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are the isolation of intact individual nanotubes from the raw material and the assembly of these isolated SWNTs into useful structures. In this study, we present atomic force microscopy (AFM) evidence that we can isolate individual peptide-wrapped SWNTs, possibly connected end-to-end into long fibrillar structures, using an amphiphilic alpha-helical peptide, termed nano-1. 

Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and well-resolved absorption spectral features further corroborate nano-1's ability to debundle SWNTs in aqueous solution. Peptide-assisted assembly of SWNT structures, specifically in the form of Y-, X-, and intraloop junctions, was observed in the AFM and TEM images.


Figure 1: Computer-based model of a carbon nanotube surrounded by six amphiphilic peptide helices

Left: End view of a slice through a nanotube (purple ring in center) wrapped by six helices (red coils).  The slice is seven residues thick (one heptad of each helix).  Val and Phe residues shown as ball-and-stick in green to demonstrate contact of the hydrophobic face of the helix with the surface of the nanotube.  Other residues are dark lines. 

Center: Side view of the backbone of each helix represented by ribbons (no sidechains of helix shown). 

Right: View down the long axis of an aggregate of seven peptide-wrapped nanotubes.  The nanotubes are purple, the hydrophobic faces of the peptides are green, and the polar surfaces of the peptides are black.  Note the interaction of residues from the polar surfaces of peptides that wrap different nanotubes.

Models generated by Dr. Gregg Dieckmann, UTD Chemistry Department

Collapse Section Expand Section Publications
 1  2  
  YearPublication  Type
Importance of aromatic content for peptide/single walled carbon nanotube interactions Zorbas, V. A. L. Smith, A. Ortiz-Acevedo, H. Xie, A. B. Dalton, G. R. Dieckmann, R. K. Draper, R. H. Baughman, and I. H. Musselman. J. Am. Chem. Soc. In press.
p97 is in a Complex with Cholera Toxin and Influences the Transport of Cholera Toxin and Related Toxins to the Cytoplasm AbuJarour, R. J., S. Dalal, P. I. Hanson and R. K. Draper. J. Biol. Chem. (2005).280, 15865-15871.
Diameter-Selective Solubilization of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes by Reversible Cyclic Peptides Ortiz-Acevedo, A., H. Xie, A. B. Dalton, R. H. Baughman, R. K. Draper, I. H. Musselman and G. R. Dieckmann. J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2005). 127, 9512-9517.
Peptide cross-linking modulated stability and assembly of peptide-wrapped single-walled carbon nanotubes Xie, H., A. Ortiz-Acevedo, V. Zorbas, R. H. Baughman, R. K. Draper, I. H Musselman, A. B. Dalton and G. R. Dieckmann. J. Mat. Chem (2005) , 15, 1734-1741.
Nanotube network transistors from individual peptide-wrapped single-walled carbon nanotubes. In het Panhuis,M., S. Gowrisanker, D. J. Vanesko, C. A. Mire, H. Jia, H. Xie, R. H. Baughman, I. H. Musselman, B. E. Gnade, G. R. Dieckmann and R. K. Draper. Small (2005). 1, 820-823.
 Synergistic Activities
Synergistic Activities
  1. Organized an interdisciplinary bio-nanotechnology group in 2002 that meets every week to bring together scientists with diverse backgrounds in biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering.
  2. Helped co-found a company, Medical Nanotechnologies, Inc., to translate research into the private sector.
  3. PI on an NSF Science and Technology Center preproposal to establish a "Center for Bioengineering and Materials Science" at UT Dallas (not awarded, but nevertheless a rewarding experience).
  4. Participate every year in team teaching a core biochemistry course to undergraduate students and a core cell biology course to graduate students. Recently developed a course in bio-nanotechnology.

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 Additional Information
51 publications in related fields

  • AbuJarour, R.J. Graduate student with R.K. Draper, UT Dallas, Richardson, TX
  • Baughman, R.H. Welch Prof. of Chemistry, Director, NanoTech Inst., UT Dallas, Richardson, TX
  • Chen, A. Graduate student with R.K. Draper, UT Dallas, Richardson, TX
  • Colinjivadi, K. Graduate student with J.B. Lee, UT Dallas, Richardson, TX
  • Dalton, A.B. Research Scientist, NanoTech Institute, UT Dallas, Richardson, TX
  • Dieckmann, G.R. Assist. Prof., Chemistry Dept., UT Dallas, Richardson, TX
  • Honnatti, M. Staff Bioengineer, Zyvex Corp., Richardson, TX
  • Hudson, R.T. Scientist, Environmental Protection Agency, Gulf Breeze, FL
  • Hu, T., Scientist, Genentech, San Francisco, CA
  • Hughes, G. Senior Biomedical Engineer, Zyvex Corp. Richardson, TX
  • In het Panhuis Assistant Prof. University of Hull, Hull, U.K.
  • Kao, C.-Y. Staff Scientist, Lucent Technologies, Chicago, IL
  • Lee, Gil Professor, Dept. Electrical Engineering, UT Dallas, Richardson, TX
  • Lee, J.B. Assoc. Professor, Dept. Electrical Engineering, UT Dallas, Richardson, TX
  • Levene, S.D. Assoc. Prof, Dept. Mol. & Cell Biol., UT Dallas, Richardson, TX
  • Marches, R. Assistant Professor, UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Musselman, I.H. Assoc. Prof., Chemistry Dept., UT Dallas, Richardson, TX
  • Ortiz-Acevedo, A. Grad. student, Chemistry Dept., UT Dallas, Richardson, TX
  • Vitetta, E. Professor, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
  • Vetcher, A.A. Postdoc, Dept. Mol. & Cell Biol., UT Dallas, Richardson, TX
  • Yacaman, M.J. Prof. Dept. Chemical Engineering, UT Austin, Austin, TX.
  • Zorbas V. Graduate student, Chemistry, UT Dallas, Richardson, TX

Graduate and Posdoctoral Advisors
  • Ph.D. advisor, Professor John Edmond, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Postdoctoral advisor, Professor Melvin I. Simon, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA

Thesis Advisor and Postgraduate-Scholar Sponsor (Grad. student & postdoc)
  • AbuJarour, R.J. Grad. student Postdoc, Scripps Institute, La Jolla, CA
  • Chaudry, G.J. Grad. student & postdoc Assist. Prof. U. of Texas, San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
  • Chen, A. Grad. student & postdoc Medical School, Missouri
  • Corboy, M.C. Grad. student Postdoc, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
  • Dixit, G. Grad. student (current) UT Dallas, Richardson, TX
  • Hu, T. Grad. student & postdoc Scientist, Genentech, San Francisco, CA
  • Hudson, R.T. Grad. student & postdoc Scientist, Ciphergen Corporation
  • Kao, C.-Y. Grad. student & postdoc Computer sciences student, Chicago, IL
  • Mikoryak, C. Res. scientist (current) UT Dallas, Richardson, TX
  • Morginov, I. Postdoc Moscow University, Russia
  • Potekat, A. Grad. student Graduate student, University of Wisconsin
  • Tang, J. Postdoc Unknown
  • Warrier, A. Grad. student Scientist, University of Wisconsin

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