Tamara Kinzer-Ursem profile picture

Tamara Kinzer-Ursem

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Kinzer-Ursem is an Assistant Professor in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. Motivated by the significant challenges we face in developing effective methods to detect and treat complex diseases, Dr. Kinzer-Ursem’s multi-disciplinary research program focuses on developing computational and experimental tools to advance quantitative descriptions of cellular processes and disease within three areas of expertise: 1) Specifically focusing on the molecular basis of learning and memory in the hippocampus, Dr. Kinzer-Ursem uses computational techniques to study the spatial and temporal dynamics of signal transduction cascades involved in synaptic plasticity. The lab has recently described “competitive tuning” as a mechanism that might be used to regulate information transfer through protein networks, with implications in cell behavior and drug target analysis; 2) Development of novel protein tagging methods are used to label proteins in vivo to enable quantitative description of protein function and elucidate disease mechanisms; and 3) Development of novel technologies such as particle diffusivity measurements to quantify biomolecular processes. Particle diffusometry is being used as a sensitive biosensor to detect the presence of pathogens in environmental and patient samples. Dr. Kinzer-Ursem received her B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of Toledo with minors in Chemistry and German. For her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan, she studied the dynamics of G protein coupled receptor signaling. Her post-doctoral training was in Molecular Neuroscience at the California Institute of Technology where she studied the dynamics of Ca2+-dependent signaling process in synaptic plasticity. Prior to joining Purdue she was the Head of R&D in Biochemistry at Maven Biotechnologies (Pasadena, CA) and Visiting Associate in Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology.