Frank Heinrich-Dept of Physics - Carnegie Mellon University

Frank Heinrich

Assistant Research Professor, Physics (and NIST)

Office: Wean 6315
Phone: 412-268-2766 (301-975-4507 NIST)
Fax: 412-681-0648


Ph.D., University of Leipzig, Germany


My research concerns disease-relevant proteins, peptides, and small molecules at interfaces and, in particular, interacting with lipid membranes. For example, I am interested in the structural foundations of the function of the T-Cell receptor, which enables the T-Cell to recognize foreign pathogens and initiate a immune response in the body. I utilize a broad range of surface-sensitive techniques including electrical impedance spectroscopy, surface plasmon resonance, and neutron reflectometry. Physically, I spend most of my time in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where I am a research associate at the Center for Neutron Research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. In this capacity I am involved in the development of future-generation neutron scattering instrumentation for soft-matter and biological research and I am committed to aiding academic and industrial scientists performing successful research using neutron scattering techniques.

Selected Publications

  • Luke A. Clifton et al., An Accurate In Vitro Model of the E. coli Envelope , Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 54, 11952 (2015)
  • Frank Heinrich, Srinivas Chakravarthy, Hirsh Nanda, Antonella Papa, Pier Paolo Pandolfi, Alonzo H. Ross, Rakesh K. Harishchandra, Arne Gericke, Mathias Lösche, The PTEN Tumor Suppressor Forms Homodimers in Solution, Structure 23, 1952 (2015)
  • Antonio Benedetto, Frank Heinrich, Miguel A. Gonzalez, Giovanna Fragneto, Erik Watkins, Pietro Ballone, Structure and Stability of Phospholipid Bilayers Hydrated by a Room-Temperature Ionic Liquid/Water Solution: A Neutron Reflectometry Study, J. Phys. Chem. B 118, 12192 (2014)
  • Rima Budvytyte et al., Structure and Properties of Tethered Bilayer Lipid Membranes with Unsaturated Anchor Molecules, Langmuir 29, 8645 (2013)
  • Gregory J. Hardy, Rahul Nayak, S. Munir Alam, Joseph G. Shapter, Frank Heinrich, Stefan Zauscher, Biomimetic supported lipid bilayers with high cholesterol content formed by α-helical peptide-induced vesicle fusion, Journal of Materials Chemistry 22, 19506 (2012)
  • Siddharth Shenoy, Prabhanshu Shekhar, Frank Heinrich, Marie-Claire Daou, Arne Gericke, Alonzo H. Ross, Mathias Lösche, Membrane Association of the PTEN Tumor Suppressor: Molecular Details of the Protein-Membrane Complex from SPR Binding Studies and Neutron Reflection, PLoS ONE 7, e32591 (2012)
  • Candace M. Pfefferkorn, Frank Heinrich, Alexander J. Sodt, Alexander S. Maltsev, Richard W. Pastor, Jennifer C. Lee, Depth of α-Synuclein in a Bilayer Determined by Fluorescence, Neutron Reflectometry, and Computation, Biophysical Journal 102, 613 (2012)
  • B.J. Kirby, P.A. Kienzle, B.B. Maranville, N.F. Berk, J. Krycka, F. Heinrich, C.F. Majkrzak, Phase-sensitive specular neutron reflectometry for imaging the nanometer scale composition depth profile of thin-film materials, Current Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science 17, 44 (2012)
  • Charles F. Majkrzak, Elisabeth Carpenter, Frank Heinrich, Norman F. Berk, When beauty is only skin deep; optimizing the sensitivity of specular neutron reflectivity for probing structure beneath the surface of thin films, Journal of Applied Physics 110, 102212 (2011)
  • Prabhanshu Shekhar, Hirsh Nanda, Mathias Lösche, Frank Heinrich, Continuous distribution model for the investigation of complex molecular architectures near interfaces with scattering techniques, Journal of Applied Physics 110, 102216 (2011)
  • Siddhartha A.K. Datta, Frank Heinrich, Sindhu Raghunandan, Susan Krueger, Joseph E. Curtis, Alan Rein, Hirsh Nanda, HIV-1 Gag Extension: Conformational Changes Require Simultaneous Interaction with Membrane and Nucleic Acid, Journal of Molecular Biology 406, 205 (2011)
  • Hirsh Nanda, Siddhartha A.K. Datta, Frank Heinrich, Mathias Lösche, Alan Rein, Susan Krueger, Joseph E. Curtis, Electrostatic Interactions and Binding Orientation of HIV-1 Matrix Studied by Neutron Reflectivity, Biophysical Journal 99, 2516 (2010)
  • Stephen A. Holt, Anton P. Le Brun, Charles F. Majkrzak, Duncan J. McGillivray, Frank Heinrich, Mathias Lösche, Jeremy H. Lakey, An ion-channel-containing model membrane: structural determination by magnetic contrast neutron reflectometry, Soft Matter 5, 2576 (2009)
  • Frank Heinrich, Tiffany Ng, David J. Vanderah, Prabhanshu Shekhar, Mihaela Mihailescu, Hirsh Nanda, Mathias Lösche, A New Lipid Anchor for Sparsely Tethered Bilayer Lipid Membranes, Langmuir 25, 4219 (2009)