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Physics and Astronomy Profile

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Hugo Sanabria

Physics and Astronomy

Associate Professor

CU School of Health Research Faculty Scholar
Lead Senator, College of Science

Kinard Lab 210 [Lab]
Kinard Lab 214 [Office]
Kinard Lab 217 [Lab]


Educational Background

Ph.D., Physics, University of Houston, 2005
M.S., Physics, University of Houston, 2002
B.S., Physics engineering, TEC Monterrey, 1999

Profile/About Me

Dr. Hugo Sanabria is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Clemson University. He graduated from Tec of Monterrey, Mexico, with a B.S. in Physics Engineering. He pursued an M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Houston under Dr. John H. Miller's supervision. His thesis was on applications of dielectric spectroscopy to study biopolymers. Dr. Sanabria got awarded a Keck Fellowship from the Gulf Coast Consortia for his postdoctoral research with Dr. M. Neal Waxham at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. There he studied Ca2+ signaling proteins involved in learning and memory processes. Later, he got awarded an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship at Heinrich Heine University, in Germany, under Dr. Claus A. M. Seidel's supervision, where he developed and enhanced single-molecule methodologies to study the structure and dynamics of proteins. In 2014 he joined Clemson University and, in 2016, he was named CU School of Health Research Faculty Scholar. He is a recipient of the prestigious NSF CAREER award, the 2019 Board of Trustees Excellence award, and the 2019 HORIBA Young Fluorescence Investigator Award. NSF and NIH fund his research program.

Selected Publications

Dimura M, Peulen TO, Sanabria H, Rodnin D, Hemmen K, Hanke CA, Seidel CAM, Gohlke H. Automated and optimally FRET-assisted structural modeling. Nat Commun. 2020 Oct 26;11(1):5394. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19023-1. PubMed PMID: 33106483; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7589535.

Sanabria H, Rodnin D, Hemmen K, Peulen TO, Felekyan S, Fleissner MR, Dimura M, Koberling F, Kühnemuth R, Hubbell W, Gohlke H, Seidel CAM. Resolving dynamics and function of transient states in single enzyme molecules. Nat Commun. 2020 Mar 6;11(1):1231. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-14886-w. PubMed PMID: 32144241; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7060211.

Tsytlonok M, Sanabria H, Wang Y, Felekyan S, Hemmen K, Phillips AH, Yun MK, Waddell MB, Park CG, Vaithiyalingam S, Iconaru L, White SW, Tompa P, Seidel CAM, Kriwacki R. Dynamic anticipation by Cdk2/Cyclin A-bound p27 mediates signal integration in cell cycle regulation. Nat Commun. 2019 Apr 11;10(1):1676. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09446-w. PubMed PMID: 30976006; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6459857.

Hellenkamp B, Schmid S, Doroshenko O, Opanasyuk O, Kühnemuth R, Rezaei Adariani S, Ambrose B, Aznauryan M, Barth A, Birkedal V, Bowen ME, Chen H, Cordes T, Eilert T, Fijen C, Gebhardt C, Götz M, Gouridis G, Gratton E, Ha T, Hao P, Hanke CA, Hartmann A, Hendrix J, Hildebrandt LL, Hirschfeld V, Hohlbein J, Hua B, Hübner CG, Kallis E, Kapanidis AN, Kim JY, Krainer G, Lamb DC, Lee NK, Lemke EA, Levesque B, Levitus M, McCann JJ, Naredi-Rainer N, Nettels D, Ngo T, Qiu R, Robb NC, Röcker C, Sanabria H, Schlierf M, Schröder T, Schuler B, Seidel H, Streit L, Thurn J, Tinnefeld P, Tyagi S, Vandenberk N, Vera AM, Weninger KR, Wünsch B, Yanez-Orozco IS, Michaelis J, Seidel CAM, Craggs TD, Hugel T. Precision and accuracy of single-molecule FRET measurements-a multi-laboratory benchmark study. Nat Methods. 2018 Sep;15(9):669-676. doi: 10.1038/s41592-018-0085-0. Epub 2018 Aug 31. PubMed PMID: 30171252; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6121742.

Yanez Orozco IS, Mindlin FA, Ma J, Wang B, Levesque B, Spencer M, Rezaei Adariani S, Hamilton G, Ding F, Bowen ME, Sanabria H. Identifying weak interdomain interactions that stabilize the supertertiary structure of the N-terminal tandem PDZ domains of PSD-95. Nat Commun. 2018 Sep 13;9(1):3724. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06133-0. PubMed PMID: 30214057; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6137104.

Honors and Awards

• 2021 Clemson University School of Health Research, Faculty Fellow
• 2019-2020 President’s Leadership Institute, Clemson University.
• 2020 Invited Speaker at the Protein Folding Dynamics Gordon Research Conference.
• 2019 Organizer of Satellite FRET Workshop at Methods & Applications of Fluorescence.
• 2019 Chair and platform talk at Member Organized Session, Biophysical Society Meeting Baltimore.
• 2019 Horiba Young Fluorescence Investigator award, Biological Fluorescence Subgroup of the Biophysical Society.
• 2019 Clemson University Board of Trustees Faculty Excellence Award.
• 2018 NSF CAREER award.
• 2017 Symposium talk and Chair of the Symposium: Single-Molecule Membrane Protein Dynamics at the Biophysical Society Meeting.
• 2016 Platform talk at the Biophysical Society Meeting.
• 2016 Co-chair platform session Protein Stability, Folding and Chaperones I
• 2016 GRC Carl Storm Underrepresented Minority Fellowship.
• 2012 Poster award at 512. WE-Heraeus-Seminar Single Molecule Kinetics, Bad Honnef, Germany.
• 2012 Selected for Platform talk at the Biophysical Society Meeting.
• 2011 International Travel Award, Biophysical Society Meeting Baltimore.
• 2010-2012 Alexander von Humboldt fellowship for postdoctoral researcher.
• 2008 Co-chair platform session H, Fluorescent Spectroscopy I at the Joint Biophysical Society Meeting and the International Biophysics Congress 2008.
• 2008 Platform talk at the Joint Biophysical Society Meeting and the International Biophysics Congress.
• 2007 Selected speaker from 190 trainees at the annual Keck Conference, League City, TX.
• 2007 Keck Fellow. Nanobiology Training Program of the W. M. Keck Center for Interdisciplinary Bioscience, NIH.
• 2004 3er Place 29th Semiannual Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston (TcSUH) Student Symposium.
• 2003 CAM Student Travel Award (Joint meeting of the Canadian, American and Mexican Physical Societies).