David Millar, PhD

Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology


Scripps Research Joint Appointments

Faculty, Graduate Program

Research Focus

Biophysical Chemistry

We develop and apply single-molecule spectroscopic methods to visualize dynamic rearrangements of biological machines. One project is aimed at understanding how the multiple enyzymatic activities of DNA polymerases are physically coordinated to ensure accurate and efficient replication of DNA. Another project is focused on the role of protein conformational dynamics during the signaling activity of G protein-coupled receptors. Single-molecule methods are also being used to dissect the assembly pathway of multi protein-RNA complexes formed during the life cycle of HIV-1.


Ph.D. (Chemistry), California Institute of Technology, 1982
B.Sc., The University of Melbourne,

Professional Experience

2008-2012 Professor, Molecular Biology, Scripps Research
2001-2008 Associate Professor (with tenure), Molecular Biology, Scripps Research
1982-1984 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Columbia University

Selected References

All Publications

D. P. Millar, Conformational dynamics of DNA polymerases revealed at the single-molecule level, Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences9, 826593 (2022).

R. F. Pauszek, R. Lamichhane, A. Rajkarnikar Singh and D. P. Millar, Single-molecule view of coordination in a multi-functional DNA polymerase, eLife 10, e62046 (2021).

R. L. Lamichhane, J. A., Hammond, R. Pauszek, R. Anderson, E. J. C. van der Schans, E. Pedron, J. R. Williamson and D. P. Millar, A DEAD-Box protein acts through RNA to promote HIV-1 Rev-RRE assembly, Nucleic Acids Research45, 4632-4641 (2017).

R. Lamichhane, J. J. Liu, G. Pljevaljcic, K. L. White, E. van der Schans, V. Katritch, R. C. Stevens, K. Wüthrich and D. P. Millar, Single-molecule view of basal activity and activation mechanisms of the G protein-coupled receptor β2AR, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 112, 14254-14259 (2015).