Themis Lazaridis

Department of Chemistry
City College of New York
Convent Avenue at 138th St.
New York, NY 10031

tel. (212) 650-8364
fax. (212) 650-6107
Office: J-1338, Lab: J-1325
email: tlazaridis[at]

Dipl. Chemical Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, 1987
PhD Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware, 1993
Postdoctoral, Harvard University, 1993-1998

Curriculum Vitae

Group home page

Research interests

My research is in the area of Theoretical and Computational Biophysical Chemistry, which aims to understand how biological systems work in terms of the fundamental laws of Physics and Chemistry. Biomolecules, such as proteins and nucleic acids, have well defined conformations which often change in the course of their function. Our goal is to understand the forces that operate within and between biomolecules and develop quantitative mathematical models for their energy as a function of conformation. Such models are useful in many ways, such as predicting the three-dimensional structure from sequence, characterizing conformational changes involved in biological function, or predicting the binding affinity between two biomolecules.

One of the most difficult interactions to model is that between biomolecules and solvent. What is needed is a simple analytical function that gives the solvation free energy for an arbitrary conformation. Several years ago we developed a model (EEF1) based on the idea that solute atoms exclude solvent from the region they occupy. More recently we extended this model to biological membranes, which are essentially a heterogeneous solvent. This will allow us to study the folding and stability of membrane proteins, a class of proteins of extraordinary importance whose structure and mechanism of action largely remain elusive to this date. It will also allow us to study the interaction of peptides and soluble proteins with membranes, which is implicated in many biological processes such as membrane fusion, innate immunity, or signal transduction.

( more on the lab page ...)

Greatest Hits

Lazaridis, T., Paulaitis, M.E. "Entropy of hydrophobic hydration: a new statistical mechanical formulation" Journal of Physical Chemistry, 96:3847 (1992)

Lazaridis, T., Archontis, G., Karplus, M. "The enthalpic contribution to protein stability: insights from atom-based calculations and statistical mechanics", Advances in Protein Chemistry, 47:231 (1995)

Lazaridis, T., Karplus, M. "New View of Protein Folding reconciled with the Old through Multiple Unfolding Simulations", Science, 278:1928 (1997)

Lazaridis, T. "Inhomogeneous fluid approach to solvation thermodynamics. I. Theory", J. Phys. Chem. , 102:3531 (1998)

Lazaridis, T., Karplus, M. "Effective energy function for proteins in solution", Proteins , 35:133-152 (1999)

Lazaridis, T. "Solvent size vs cohesive energy as the origin of hydrophobicity", Acc. Chem. Res., 34:931-7 (2001)

Lazaridis, T., Masunov, A., Gandolfo, F. "Contributions to the binding free energy of ligands to avidin and streptavidin", Proteins, 47:194-208 (2002)

Masunov, A., Lazaridis, T. "Potentials of mean force between ionizable aminoacid sidechains in aqueous solution", J. Am. Chem. Soc. , 125:1722-30 (2003)

Madhusoodanan, M., Lazaridis, T. "The contribution of Ca...O hydrogen bonds to membrane protein stability depends on the position of the amide", Biochemistry, 44:1607-13 (2005)

Li, Z., Lazaridis, T. "Thermodynamics of buried water clusters at a protein-ligand binding interface", J. Phys. Chem. B, 110:1464-75 (2006)

Complete list of publications and reprints


Fall 2016, General Chemistry I
Spring 2015, General Chemistry II
Spring 2012, Physical Biochemistry
Spring 2004, Physical Chemistry II
Fall 2003, Molecular Biophysics
Fall 1999, Introduction to Quantum Chemistry