David Warshaw, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair

David Warshaw


Dr. Warshaw received his Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Vermont in 1978, and continued his research studying the molecular mechanism of muscle contraction as a post-doctoral associate at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He returned to the University of Vermont as an Assistant Professor of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics in 1983 and now is Professor and Chair of the Department. Currently, Dr. Warshaw’s lab is using state-of-the-art single molecule detection and manipulation techniques to characterize the structure and function of myosin molecular motors in normal and disease states of the cardiovascular system.


Office:  HSRF 116

Lab:  HSRF 115

Lab website

Lab Team

Brandon Bensel
Andy Mead
Guy Kennedy
Shane Nelson
Sam Previs

Angela Ploysangngam

Sebastian Duno-Miranda



Research Description

I received my B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University and Ph.D. in Physiology & Biophysics from the University of Vermont. As a postdoc with Fredric Fay at UMass Medical, I studied single smooth muscle cell mechanics. My present research focuses on the structure and function of cardiac muscle contractile proteins as well as non-muscle molecular motors using single molecule biophysical techniques such as laser trapping and super-resolution microscopy. Presently, my lab has two research foci. One area focuses on the molecular mechanism by which myosin binding protein-C modulates cardiac and skeletal muscle contractility, using an in vitro muscle model systems. The other focus is in vitro 3D model systems of intracellular cargo transport by myosin motors. I have been the Principal Investigator of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Program Project Grant focused on the molecular basis of genetic heart failure. I am an Established Investigator and Fellow of the American Heart Association and a Fellow of the Biophysical Society. I have organized numerous International Conferences and Symposia, including the Gordon Conference on “Muscle Contractile Proteins” (1999, 2002) and was the program co-chair of the 2009 Biophysical Society annual meeting. I have and continue to serve on numerous NIH review panels and was a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel for the NIH Nanomedicine Initiative. I have trained 26 pre- and postdoctoral fellows of which 17 have gone on to university faculty positions.

Faculty Highlighted Publications

Nelson SR, Li A, Beck-Previs S, Kennedy GG, Warshaw DM. Imaging ATP Consumption in Resting Skeletal Muscle: One Molecule at a Time. Biophys J. 2020 Aug 15:S0006-3495(20)30631-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2020.07.036. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32857963.

Mead AF, Kennedy GG, Palmer BM, Ebert AM, Warshaw DM. Mechanical Characteristics of Ultrafast Zebrafish Larval Swimming Muscles. Biophys J. 2020 Aug 18;119(4):806-820. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2020.06.036. Epub 2020 Jul 18. PMID: 32755560

Chong JX, Talbot JC, Teets EM, Previs S, Martin BL, Shively KM, Marvin CT, Aylsworth AS, Saadeh-Haddad R, Schatz UA, Inzana F, Ben-Omran T, Almusafri F, Al-Mulla M, Buckingham KJ, Harel T, Mor-Shaked H, Radhakrishnan P, Girisha KM, Nayak SS, Shukla A, Dieterich K, Faure J, Rendu J, Capri Y, Latypova X, Nickerson DA, Warshaw DM, Janssen PML; University of Washington Center for Mendelian Genomics, Amacher SL, Bamshad MJ. Mutations in MYLPF Cause a Novel Segmental Amyoplasia that Manifests as Distal Arthrogryposis. Am J Hum Genet. 2020 Aug 6;107(2):293-310. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.06.014. Epub 2020 Jul 23. PMID: 32707087; PMCID: PMC7413889

Li A, Nelson SR, Rahmanseresht S, Braet F, Cornachione AS, Previs SB, O’Leary TS, McNamara JW, Rassier DE, Sadayappan S, Previs MJ, Warshaw DM (2019) Skeletal MyBP-C isoforms tune the molecular contractility of divergent skeletal muscle systems. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 116(43): 21882-21892. PMID: 31591218

Lombardo AT, Nelson SR, Kennedy GG, Trybus KM, Walcott S, Warshaw DM (2019) Myosin Va transport of liposomes in three-dimensional actin networks is modulated by actin filament density, position, and polarity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 116(17): 8326-8335. PMID: 30967504

Inchingolo AV, Previs SB, Previs MJ, Warshaw DM, Kad NM (2019) Revealing the mechanism of how cardiac myosin-binding protein C N-terminal fragments sensitize thin filaments for myosin binding. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 116(14): 6828-6835. PMID: 30877248

Nelson SR, Kathe SD, Hilzinger TS, Averill AM, Warshaw DM, Wallace SS, Lee AJ (2019) Single molecule glycosylase studies with engineered 8-oxoguanine DNA damage sites show functional defects of a MUTYH polyposis variant. Nucleic Acids Res 47(6): 3058-3071. PMID: 30698731


 All Warshaw publications >>