• Volume 18 Number 2
    Spring 2009

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26.
Tim Richmond, BS ’70
 Zurich, Switzerland  •  Profiled: Winter ’01

Biochemist

Since 1987, Tim Richmond has directed his own lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.Tim Richmond

His work in cellular structural biology and X-ray crystallography (a technique to determine the three-dimensional structure of a molecule by analyzing how X-rays diffract from crystals made up of the molecule) has earned him a reputation as one of the world’s leading biochemists.

His research centers on chromatin structure and gene expression. Chromatin is the material that makes up chromosomes.

“The DNA comprising each eukaryotic genome encodes thousands of genes, but only relatively few are expressed concurrently in response to the demands of metabolism, the cell cycle and development,” Richmond states on the institute’s Web site.

“Genomic DNA is packaged in chromatin, and it plays a fundamental role in the regulation of gene activity. The aim of my laboratory is to discover structure-based mechanisms inherent to gene regulation in the context of chromatin. We use modern molecular biological and biophysical methods, including X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy, in our research.”