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Klaus M. Hahn, PhD, is a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member and Ronald Thurman Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Ronald Thurman Distinguished Professor
UNC-Chapel Hill
Molecular Therapeutics

Area of Interest

Our lab develops small molecules and proteins to visualize and control signaling in living cells. These tools enable us to ask how the spatio-temporal dynamics of protein activity govern signaling. We try to uncover basic principles by studying clinically important cell behaviors: metastasis, immune cell synapses, and platelet production. Our molecular imaging tools are focused on specific molecules for our biological studies, but we aim to produce broadly applicable approaches that others can use to visualize and control protein behavior. These include new biosensor designs that minimally perturb signaling, enabling us to examine low abundance proteins and to visualize multiple proteins simultaneously. We are developing means to control endogenous proteins with light, and engineering allosteric networks in proteins to confer control by light or small molecules. In metastatic cells we are examining coordination of Rho family GTPases and their upstream regulators, asking why each GTPases is regulated by multiple GEFs, GDIs, and GAPs, and how space and time play a role in this complex circuitry.

Awards and Honors

  • Pearse Prize, Royal Microscopy Society
  • Fellow AAAS
  • Nature Reviews, Molecular Cell Biology “10 breakthroughs of the decade”

Find publications on PubMed