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About the Instructor

Grant Jensen grew up in the science-focused town of Los Alamos, New Mexico.  After high school he studied physics and math at Brigham Young University, where he later graduated as valedictorian of his college. Grant then entered an M.D./Ph.D. program at Stanford University, and earned his doctorate in Biophysics working on electron microscopy of RNA polymerase and other protein complexes with Dr. Roger Kornberg (who later won the Nobel prize for structural studies of transcription).  Opting not to finish his medical training, instead Grant continued his work in protein electron microscopy as a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell post-doctoral fellow under the supervision of Dr. Kenneth Downing at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.  Here his interests expanded to include electron tomography of whole cells.

Grant became an Assistant Professor of Biology at Caltech in July, 2002. At Caltech his research has focused on three main areas: the ultrastructure of small cells, the structural biology of HIV, and the development of cryo-EM technology. Among his awards and honors are that he was chosen as a Searle Scholar in 2004, as Chair of the American Society of Microbiology's Division of Cell and Structural Biology in 2007, and as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator in 2008. He was given tenure in 2008 and promoted to full Professor in 2010.

Together with his colleagues he has now published nearly 100 papers - view a publication list to download many as a PDF or view on journals' websites. His lab has developed a searchable tomography database and populated it with ~20 thousand cryotomograms of over 100 different viral and microbial samples. Meanwhile his teaching has centered on biophysical methods, including most recently the creation of a 14-hour online course "Getting started in Cryo-EM."  He and his wife Angela live with their six children in Arcadia, California.

Learn more:

Lab website:  http://www.jensenlab.caltech.edu

HHMI website: http://www.hhmi.org/research/microbial-ultrastructure-hiv-and-development-electron-cryotomography