Steven M. Abel

Assistant Professor - Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department

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Steve Abel received his undergraduate education at Rice University, where he earned a B.S. in Chemical Physics, a B.A. in Mathematics, and a B.A. in Physics. He received a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and was a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His graduate research focused on developing theoretical methods to understand and describe the highly correlated motion of molecules in dense liquids. His postdoctoral work applied theory and computation to understand how T cells, the primary orchestrators of adaptive immunity, identify and respond to pathogens. This work was carried out in close collaboration with experimentalists, with a particular emphasis on understanding how the membrane environment influences signal transduction in cells. Dr. Abel’s group, the Abel Research Group, applies theoretical and computational methods to investigate fundamental problems in cell biology and immunology. A major focus is on the development of a multiscale, spatiotemporal understanding of cellular processes involving the interplay of signal transduction networks, membranes, and the cytoskeleton.

Focus Areas: Computational Cell Biology | Immunology and Lymphocyte Activation | Signal Transduction | Membrane and Cytoskeleton Biophysics

Skills and Expertise: Mathematical and Multiscale Modeling | Computational Biology | Statistical Mechanics | Systems Biology

Selected Publications:

Ras Activation by SOS: Allosteric Regulation by Altered Fluctuation Dynamics
L. Iversen, H.-L. Tu, W.-C. Lin, S.M. Christensen, S.M. Abel, J. Iwig, H.-J. Wu, J. Gureasko, C. Rhodes, R. Petit, S.D. Hansen, P. Thill, C.-H. Yu, D. Stamou, A.K. Chakraborty, J. Kuriyan, and J.T. Groves, Science, vol. 345, no. 6192, pp. 50-54, 2014.
Coreceptor Affinity for MHC Defines Peptide Specificity Requirements for TCR Interaction with Coagonist peptide–MHC
J.A.H. Hoerter, J. Brzostek, M.N. Artyomov, S.M. Abel, J. Casas, V. Rybakin, J. Ampudia, C. Lotz, J.M. Connolly, A.K. Chakraborty, K.G. Gould, and N.R.J. Gascoigne, The Journal of Experimental Medicine, vol. 210, pp. 1807-1821 , 2013.
The Membrane Environment can Promote or Suppress Bistability in Cell Signaling Networks
Abel, S.M., Roose, J.P., Groves, J.T., Weiss, A., and Chakraborty, The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, vol. 116, no. 11, pp. 3630-40, 2012.
Protein Clusters on the T Cell Surface May Suppress Spurious Early Signaling Events
W.K. Chung, S.M. Abel, and A.K.Chakraborty, PLoS ONE , vol. 7, no. 9, e44444, 2012.
Kinetic Theories of Dynamics and Persistent Caging in a One-dimensional Lattice Gas
S.M. Abel, Y.-L.S. Tse, and H.C. Andersen, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 106, no. 36, pp. 15142–15147, 2009.