Drena Dobbs

University Professor

Professor Dobbs received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Georgia in 1977 and her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Oregon in 1983. She received an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship in 1984, and worked with Elizabeth Blackburn at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Dobbs joined Iowa State University in 1987. From 1999 through 2001, she served as the first Chair of the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BCB) Graduate Program at ISU. In 2015, Dr. Dobbs was named University Professor.

Research Description

Long-term research goals of the Dobbs group are to understand how proteins and nucleic acids achieve their functional three-dimensional structures and to elucidate mechanisms that determine recognition and regulate interactions among proteins, nucleic acids and other molecules in cells. We use both computational and wet-lab experimental approaches to explore the structure and function of important macromolecular complexes, in close collaboration with several groups at Iowa State, University of Minnesota, and Harvard University.

Current areas of focus include: development of novel antiviral therapies against HIV-1 and other lentiviruses; rational design of zinc finger proteins (ZFPs) as tools for genomic modification and gene therapy; prediction of epitopes and nucleic acid binding residues in proteins; and prediction and experimental validation of structural and functional effects of mutations and SNPs in proteins. For details, please visit the Dobbs Lab website.

Area of Expertise: 
Understanding how proteins and nucleic acids achieve their functional three-dimensional structures
B.S., University of Georgia, 1977
Ph.D., University of Oregon, 1983
437A Bessey Hall