Christopher Fischer

Christopher Fischer
  • Professor
  • Chair
  • Research Interests: mathematics transference, curriculum development, and molecular biophysics
  • Physics & Astronomy

Contact Info

Malott Hall, room 1076
1251 Wescoe Hall Dr.
Lawrence, KS 66045


2021-present: Professor, University of Kansas

2010-2021: Associate Professor, University of Kansas

2004-2010: Assistant Professor, University of Kansas

2002-2004: NIH Postdoctoral Fellow

2000-2002: Postdoctoral Research Associate


PhD in Applied Physics, University of Michigan, 2000
MS in Applied Physics, University of Michigan, 1998
AB in Physics, Washington University, 1994
Magna Cum Laude


My general research interests include both the kinetics and the thermodynamics of protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions as well as the development and implementation of new biophysical methodologies and techniques for the study of these phenomena. The specific research focus of my group is trying to understand the interactions between the ISW2 enzyme, a member of the ISWI family of chromatin remodeling proteins, and eukaryotic DNA. We are developing a quantitative physical description of the mechanism by which this molecular motor utilizes the chemical potential energy it gains from ATP binding and hydrolysis to perform the mechanical work of regulating chromatin structure. 

Selected Publications

  • Shuja S. Malik, Evan Rich, Ramya Viswanathan, Bradley R. Cairns, and Christopher J. Fischer. Allosteric Interactions of DNA and Nucleotides with S. cerevisiae RSC. Biochemistry, 50 (2011):7881-90. PMID: 21834590.
  • Eric J. Tomko, Christopher J. Fischer, and Timothy M. Lohman. Ensemble methods for monitoring enzyme translocation along single stranded nucleic acids.  Methods, 51 (2010):269-276.  PMID: 20371288.
  • Ali R. Khaki, Cassandra Field, Shuja Malik, Anita Niedziela-Majka, Stephanie A. Leavitt, Ruth Wang, Magdeleine Hung, Roman Sakowicz, Katherine M. Brendza, and Christopher J. Fischer. The Macroscopic Rate of Nucleic Acid Translocation by Hepatitis C Virus Helicase NS3h Is Dependent on Both Sugar and Base Moieties.  Journal of Molecular Biology, 400 (2010):354-378.  PMID: 20451531.
  • Dennis L. Matlock, Laxmi Yeruva, Alicia K. Byrd, Samuel G. Mackintosh, Clint Langston, Carrie Brown, Craig E. Cameron, Christopher J. Fischer, and Kevin D. Raney.  Investigation of translocation, DNA unwinding, and protein displacement by NS3h, the helicase domain from the Hepatitis C virus helicase.  Biochemistry, 49 (2010):2097-2109.  PMID: 20108974
  • Saroja K. Weeratunga, Scott Lovell, Huili Yao, Kevin P. Battaile, Christopher J. Fischer, Casey E. Gee, and Mario Rivera.  Structural Studies of Bacterioferritin B from Pseudomonas aeruginosa Suggest a Gating Mechanism for Iron Uptake via the Ferroxidase Center. Biochemistry, 49 (2010):1160-1175.  PMID: 20067302
  • Christopher J. Fischer, Lake Wooten, Eric J. Tomko and Timothy M. Lohman.  Kinetics of Motor Protein Translocation on Single Stranded DNA, in Methods in Molecular Biology, Vol. 587, Mohamed M. Abdelhaleem, Editor, 2010, Springer: New York, NY. p. 45-56.
  • Christopher J. Fischer, Kazuhiro Yamada, and Daniel J. Fitzgerald.  Kinetic Mechanism for Single stranded DNA binding and Translocation by S. cerevisiae Isw2.  Biochemistry, 48 (2009): 2960-2968.  PMID: 19203228
  • Christopher J. Fischer, Anjanabha Saha and Bradley R. Cairns.  Kinetic Model for the ATP-dependent Translocation of S. cerevisiae RSC along Double-stranded DNA.  Biochemistry, 46 (2007): 12416-12426.   PMID: 17918861
  • Eric J. Tomko, Christopher J. Fischer, Anita Niedziela-Majka and Timothy M. Lohman, A Discontinuous Stepping Mechanism for E. coli UvrD Monomer Translocation along Single Stranded DNA. Molecular Cell, 2007: in press.
  • Katherine M. Brendza, Wei Cheng, Christopher J. Fischer, Marla A. Chesnik, Anita Niedziela-Majka, and Timothy M. Lohman. Auto-inhibition of E. coli Rep Monomer Helicase Activity by Its 2B Sub-domain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 102 (2005): 10076-10081
  • Christopher J. Fischer, Nasib K. Maluf and Timothy M. Lohman, Mechanism of ATP-Dependent Translocation of E. coli UvrD Monomers Along Single-Stranded DNA, Journal of Molecular Biology 344, 1287-1309 (2004)

Awards & Honors

2002-2004: NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship

1999-2000: NIA Multidisciplinary Research Training Grant

1997-1999: NIH Molecular Biophysics Training Grant

1994-1996: Reagents Fellowship, University of Michigan


Member, Biophysical Society