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Paul Dalhaimer

Associate Professor


Paul Dalhaimer was educated in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania (B.S. and Ph.D.) and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Cellular, Developmental, and Molecular Biology at Yale University where he was a recipient of a Ruth Kirschstein NRSA fellowship. He joined the faculty of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Tennessee in August of 2009. He has used computational techniques to study the actin cytoskeleton and semi-flexible polymers in general. Being interested in polymers, he has also developed (with co-workers) a drug delivery system that emulates the properties of filamentous phages and viruses. When loaded with the microtubule-binding drug taxol, the resulting carriers have been shown to shrink the size of tumors in mouse models. His laboratory is currently attempting to (1) discover new drugs or combinations thereof that interfere with cytoskeletal genes involved in cancer proliferation and to (2) target the drugs only to tumors using the delivery vehicles mentioned above.


  • Biochemistry and biophysics of cytoskeletal proteins
  • Fission yeast S. pombe as a model genetic system
  • Statistical mechanics and computation


Post-doctoral Fellow, Yale University: Gene targeting and purification of Arp2/3 complex in fission yeast; Molecular dynamics simulations of actin and Arp2/3 complex; Reconstitution of actin branches at an interface.

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania: Drug delivery vehicles; lipid droplet biology.

Awards and Recognitions

2005-2008 Ruth Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral-Fellow


  • Nucleotide-mediated conformational changes of monomeric actin and Arp3 studied by molecular dynamics simulations. P. Dalhaimer†, T.D. Pollard, B.J. Nolen†. J. Mol. Biol. 376,166-183 (2008).
  • Crosslinked actin networks exhibit liquid crystal elastomer behavior, including soft mode elasticity. P. Dalhaimer, D.E. Discher, & T.C. Lubensky. Nature Physics 3,354-360 (2007).

    Shape effects of filaments versus spherical particles in flow and drug delivery. Y. Geng†, P. Dalhaimer†, S. Cai, R. Tsai, M. Tewari, T. Minko, & D.E. Discher. Nature Nanotechnology 2,249-255 (2007).
  • Targeted worm micelles. P. Dalhaimer, A.J. Engler, R. Parthasarathy, F.S. Bates, & D.E. Discher. Biomacromolecules 5,1714-1719 (2004).
  • Single molecule visualization of stiffness-tunable, flow-conforming worm micelles. P. Dalhaimer, F.S. Bates, & D.E. Discher. Macromolecules 36,6873-6877 (2003).

Selected Patents

Block copolymer worm micelles for drug delivery and imaging; D.E. Discher, Y. Geng, S. Cai, and P. Dalhaimer; U.S. Patent Pending 10/913,660

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Contact Information

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