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

  • 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, The Journal of Physical Chemistry 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)