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Carlos Catalano


Professor, Medicinal Chemistry
PH: 206 685 2468


  • Ph.D., 1987, University of California at San Francisco
  • PharmD, 1983, University of California at San Francisco
  • B.A., Biochemistry (cum Laude), 1979, San Francisco State University

Research Interests

  • Kinetic, biochemical, biophysical, and structural characterization of viral DNA-packaging motors.
  • How viruses put themselves together in an infected cell.
  • Focus on HIV and bacteriophage lambda virus, a virus that looks and behaves like the herpes virus.


Dr. Catalano received his PharmD and PhD from the University of California at San Francisco. He is faculty adviser to the award-winning UW graduate student chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science. He also helped create the UW School of Pharmacy’s Pharmacological Sciences Summer Diversity Program, and he serves as co-PI for the UW’s Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program, funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Catalano further serves as co-director of the Analytical Biopharmacy Core facility.

Representative Publications

  • Nurmemmedov E, Castelnovo M, Medina E, Catalano CE, and Evilevitch A.  "Challenging Packaging Limits and Infectivity of Phage Lambda."  J Mol Biol., 415:263-273; ePub Nov 15 (2012).
  • Andrews BT, Catalano CE. "The enzymology of a viral genome packaging motor is influenced by the assembly state of the motor subunits." Biochemistry 51(46):9342-53; ePub Nov 7 (2012).
  • Medina E, Nakatani E, Kruse S, and Catalano CE.  "Thermodynamic Characterization of Viral Procapsid Expansion into a Functional Capsid Shell."  J Mol Biol., 418:167-180; ePub Feb 23 (2012).
  • Chang JR, Andrews BT, and Catalano CE.  "Energy Independent Helicase Activity of a Viral Genome Packaging."  Biochemistry, 51:391-400; ePub Dec 30 (2011).
  • Medina EM, Andrews BT, Nakatani E, and Catalano CE.  "The Bacteriophage Lambda gpNu3 Scaffolding Protein is an Intrinsically Disordered and Biologically Functional Procapsid Assembly Catalyst."  J Mol Biol., 412:723-736; ePub Jul 29 (2011).
  • Tsay JM, Sippy J, delToro D, Andews BT, Draper B, Rao V, Catalano CE, Feiss M, Smith DE. "Mutations Altering a Structurally Conserved Loop-Helix-Loop Region of a Viral Packaging Motor Change DNA Translocation Velocity and Processivity." J Biol Chem. 285(31):24282-9 (2010).
  • Yang Q, Maluf NK, and Catalano CE, "Packaging of a Unit-Length Viral Genome: The Role of Nucleotides and the gpD Decoration Protein in Stable Nucleocapsid Assembly in Bacteriophage Lambda." Journal of Molecular Biology 383:1113-1122 (2008).
  • Nurmemmedov E, Castelnovo M, Catalano CE, Evilevitch A, "Biophysics of viral infectivity: matching genome length with capsid size." Quarterly Reviews of Biophysics 40: 327-356 (2007).
  • Gaussier H, Yang Q, and Catalano CE, "Building a virus from scratch: assembly of an infectious virus using purified components in a rigorously defined biochemical assay system." Journal of Molecular Biology 357:1154-1166 (2006).

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