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About Eric Underbakke

Our lab employs mass spectrometry and chemical tools to probe the interactions and post-translational modifications that contribute to synaptic signaling strength and plasticity. Among these techniques, we use hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) to map protein—protein interactions and conformational changes in dynamic signaling complexes. In addition, we employ diverse chemical tools for probing protein—protein interactions, such as crosslinkers, artificial amino acids, and spectroscopic tags. By integrating maps of protein interaction surfaces with the structures of the protein components, we can devise models of the higher-order architecture of the signaling assemblies. Furthermore, we can test how post-translational modifications and conformational changes remodel the architecture. Our targets of inquiry include kinases, trafficking chaperones, nitric oxide signaling components, and the scaffolding proteins that assemble these diverse signaling effectors together at the synaptic membrane.


Present Assistant Professor, Iowa State University Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology

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Contact Information

4212 Molecular Bio
2437 Pammel Dr
Ames, IA 50011-1079


Peer-Reviewed Articles (9)