Robert Tycko, Ph.D.

NIH Distinguished Investigator

Laboratory of Chemical Physics


Building NIHBC 05, Room 409
5 Memorial Dr
Bethesda, MD 20892

+1 301 402 8272

Research Topics

The purpose of our research is twofold: (1) to expand the capabilities of experimental techniques, especially solid state NMR techniques, for probing structural properties of molecules with central roles in biology and human disease; (2) to provide new structural and mechanistic information about specific biomolecular systems, including protein assemblies that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and AIDS.

Current Research

My lab is currently pursuing several distinct but inter-related projects. We are using solid state NMR and electron microscopy to characterize molecular structures of amyloid-β fibrils, including fibrils that develop in brain tissue of Alzheimer’s disease patients. We are developing new experimental methods that allow detailed molecular structural studies of transient intermediates in processes such as protein folding, ligand binding, peptide aggregation, and protein self-assembly. We are investigating the structural and physical basis for fibril formation by low-complexity protein sequences. We are using solid state NMR and electron microscopy to characterize protein assemblies that mimic assemblies within HIV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 virions. And we are developing ultra-low-temperature methods for sensitivity enhancement in biomolecular solid state NMR and resolution enhancement in magnetic resonance imaging.


  • Senior Investigator, LCP, NIDDK, NIH, 1994-present
  • Member of Technical Staff (Principal Investigator), Physical Chemistry Research Department, AT&T Bell Laboratories, 1986-1994
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Pennsylvania, 1984-1986
  • Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 1984
  • A.B., Princeton University, 1980
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society (1997), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2005), the International Society of Magnetic Resonance (2008), and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2017). Member of the National Academy of Sciences (2020).

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Wednesday, July 17, 2024