Jeff Gelles is the Aron and Imre Tauber Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology in the Biochemistry Department at Brandeis University. He studies little engines, the nanometer-sized machines made of protein, RNA, and DNA molecules that carry out essential processes in living cells.
A central focus of Gelles’s research is the use of light microscopy methods that allow the direct observation of single molecules as they perform their biological functions. At the Radcliffe Institute, he is working with collaborators from Harvard Medical School and University of Massachusetts Medical School to apply these methods to the study of how messenger RNA synthesis and maturation are coordinated in eukaryotic cells.
Gelles earned an AB from Harvard College and a PhD from the California Institute of Technology. His career highlights include an Method to Extend Research in Time Award from the National Institutes of Health and awards from the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust, the Searle Scholars Program, and the Whitaker Foundation. Together with the former Radcliffe Institute fellow Jané Kondev, Gelles founded and directs the Brandeis University Quantitative Biology Program, which trains PhD students to do research that spans the life and physical sciences.