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Elizabeth Rose Middleton

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

“The goal of the biophysical chemist is to provide physical explanations for the ways in which important biological systems function. Techniques needed to reach this goal are drawn from many disciplines, including chemistry, physics, and biology.”
— Yale Department of Chemistry 

Research Interests

Elizabeth Middleton’s research focuses on the membrane interactions of the antimicrobial peptide Maximin 3 using a variety of fluorescence techniques, including FRET, fluorescence anisotropy, dequenching leakage assays, and fluorescence microscopy. She is also interested in developing fluorescence-based labs for biochemistry and general chemistry and providing research opportunities for undergraduates.

Representative Courses





W, Cao, Coman MM, Ding S, Henn A, Middleton ER, Bradley MJ, Rhoades E, Hackney DD, Pyle AM, and De La Cruz EM.Mechanism of Mss116 ATPase reveals functional diversity of DEAD-Box proteins.Journal of Molecular Biology. 409.3 (2011): 399-414. JMB_2011

Middleton, ER, and E. Rhoades.Effects of curvature and composition on α-synuclein binding to lipid vesicles.Biophysical Journal. 99.7 (2010): 2279-88. BPJ_2010

Presentations / Conferences

Undergraduate Research


  • Lebron, P., Bergstresser, S., Middleton, E.R. Correlation between membrane binding and disruption by the antimicrobial peptide Maximin 3. ACS Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting, Riverdale, NY, 2016.
  • Lipscomb, T. Towards Identifying the Antimicrobial Action of Maximin 3 From Bombina maxima Using GROMACS. SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference, Brockport, NY, 2015. 
  • Lebron, P. Membrane Binding and Leakage Properties of Antimicrobial Peptide Maximin-3. SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference, Brockport, NY, 2015. 
  • Herbst, B., Glatz, J., Middleton, E.R. Characterization of Maximin 3 structure and membrane leakage. Biophysical Society Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD, 2015.
  • Sabine, J., Middleton, E.R. Antimicrobial Peptides and Anisotropy. Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, San Antonio, TX, 2014.
  • Litchmore, T., Middleton, E.R. Antimicrobial Peptides and Anisotropy. Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, Nashville, TN, 2013.
  • DeLuca, J., Paulson, J., Elbadawi, K., Hulbert, J., Dalmeus, P., Alexandre, S., Middleton, E.R. Membrane-binding properties of the antimicrobial peptide Maximin 3. Biophysical Society Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, 2013.
  • Dalmeus, P., Middleton, E.R. Membrane Disruption Potential of Maximin 3. Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, San Jose, CA, 2012.
  • Alexandre, S., Middleton, E.R. Structure of Maximin 3 Antimicrobial Peptide. Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, San Jose, CA, 2012.

Senior Projects


  • Sara Bergstresser
  • Connor Brown
  • Sabine Jocelyn


  • Rachael Chabot: The binding affinity of the antimicrobial peptide Maximin 3 to bacterial membranes of varying curvature via fluorescence anisotropy
  • Julienne Dorceus: Antimicrobial Peptides: The Effects of Cholesterol on the Binding Properties of Maximin-3
  • David Rovello: Binding characteristics of the Antimicrobial Peptide Maximin 3 Under Variable Liposome Sizes


  • Jeidar Cole: Effect of Exercise on Antioxdant Levels
  • Jeremiah Curtis-Shanley: Chemical Playgrounds: Teaching Children Professional Science Through Playing with Chemicals
  • Pedro Lebron: Characterization of the Binding Properties of Antimicrobial Peptide Maximin-3 to Bacterial Membranes
  • Thomas Lipscomb: Towards Finding the Antimicrobial Mechanism of Action of Bombina maxima’s Maximin 3, Using GROMACS
  • Jay Ruiz: Effects of Exercise on Antioxidants Levels
  • Ryuuichi Uehara: An Indirect Sandwich Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for Detection of Cry1Ac protein in Maize


  • Awingrug Anaaba: Membrane binding of an Antimicrobial Peptide Maximin 3
  • Jillian Glatz: Vesicle leakage with the Maximin 3 petide from Bombina maxima
  • Brian Herbst: FRET Determined Intramolecular Distance of Maximin-3 Antimicrobial Peptide on Model Bacterial and Mammalian Vesicles


  • Imran Baksh: Maximin 3 Binding Properties in E.Coli
  • Joseph DeLuca: Structural Characterization of Maximin 3 using Fluorometer Anisotropy and Förster Resonance Energy Transfer Analysis
  • James Paulson: Using Bioinformatics to Predict the Binding Conformations of Antimicrobial Bombina maxima peptides


  • Kareem Elbadawi: Biophysical characterization of binding and permeabilization of E. coli by Maximin 3
  • Jessica Hulbert: Maximin 3: Mechanisms of Membrane Disruption

Bridges to Baccalaureate Participants


  • George Arce
  • Amanda Denizard
  • David Huerta-Morales
  • Sarah Ann King


  • Edward Amelemah
  • Tetiana Gavryshko
  • Sabine Jocelin
  • Amanda Valverde


  • Leslie Boze-Simpson
  • Julienne Dorceus
  • Sabine Jocelyn
  • Johnathan Murphy


  • Bhawneet Chadha
  • Tiphany Litchmore
  • Ashley Murray
  • Kayla Rodriguez


  • Sarafina Alexandre
  • Presnel Dalmeus Jr.
  • Olivia Robinson