Paul R. Selvin
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Department of Physics
1110 West Green Street
Urbana, IL 61801-3080
phone: (217) 244-3371 - fax: (217) 333-4898
Home page:

Research Aims

To study the structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules using single molecule fluorescence. Specific biological systems of interest include molecular motors (conventional and unconventional myosins, kinesins, dyneins), receptors involved in neuronal transmissions (voltage-controlled potassium ion channels; ligand-gated ion channels; mechanosensitive-channels), and more recently, genomics. The lab is split between technology development and biological applications. Technique development includes development of single molecule fluorescence, particularly Fluorescence Imaging with One Nanometer Accuracy (FIONA) and related techniques. These are able to get 1 nm accuracy in >2 msec, and 8 nm resolution. Both one- and two-photon excitation is used, where the latter we can get nanometer accuracy and resolution in all three dimensions. Other optical techniques are DOPI (Defocused Orientation and Position Imaging of myosin V), SHREC (Single molecule High REsolution with Colocalization, also known as 2D-FIONA), SHRIMP (Super High Resolution IMaging with Photobleaching), and single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer. Another project is performing single molecule measurements with an optical trap in a cell (as opposed to regular in vitro measurements).

While we do basic research, the hope is that one day this will have real impact. So far, we have a number of patents that have been commercialized: 3 patents on lanthanide-chelates, which are used in high-throughput screening of drugs; 2 patents on single-molecule fluorescence for detecting genetic changes; 1 for detecting super-high-resolution with a few (as opposed to one) dyes; 1 for obtaining a super-stable microscope stage.

Research Accomplishments


Professional Experience



Committees and Service




Science Writing

Contributing Writer, Science, News and Comment, Research News (1990-95).
Science Writer (AAAS mass media fellowship), Detroit Free Press (Summer 1990).



Published Technical Papers:

  1. Giorgio Tortarolo, Yuansheng Sun, Kai-Wen Teng, Yuji Ishitsuka, Luca Lanzanó, Paul R. Selvin, Beniamino Barbieri, Alberto Diaspro, Giuseppe Vicidomini, “Photon-separation to enhance the spatial resolution in pulsed STED microscopy”, Nanoscale, 2019, DOI: 10.1039/C8NR07485B
  2. Janet Y. Sheung , Pinghua Ge, Sung Jun Lim, Sang Hak Lee, Andrew M. Smith, and Paul R. Selvin (2018). Structural Contributions to Hydrodynamic Diameter for Quantum Dots Optimized for Live-Cell Single-Molecule Tracking. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 122(30), 17406–17412.
  3. Kai Wen Teng & Paul R. Selvin. “Delivery of Fluorescent Probes using Streptolysin O for Fluorescence Microscopy of Living Cells.” Accepted in Current Protocols in Protein Science. Vol. 93, e60,. doi: 10.1002/cpps.60.
  4. Jary Y Delgado, Paul R. Selvin A revised view on the role of surface AMPAR mobility in tuning synaptic transmission: limitations, tools, and alternative views, Frontiers in Neuroscience, Vol. 10, 2018. DOI: 10.3389/fnsyn.2018.00021
  5. Marco Tjioe, Hyeon Ryoo, Yuji Ishitsuka, Pinghua Ge, Carol Bookwalter, Walter Huynh, Richard J. McKenney, Kathleen M. Trybus, and Paul R. Selvin (2018). Magnetic Cytoskeleton Affinity Purification of Microtubule Motors Conjugated to Quantum Dots. Bioconjugate Chemistry, acs.bioconjchem.8b00264.
  6. HyeongJun Kim and Paul R. Selvin, Fluorescence Imaging with One Nanometer Accuracy
  7. Yeoan Youn, Yuji Ishitsuka, Chaoyi Jin, and Paul R. Selvin. “Thermal nanoimprint lithography for drift correction in super-resolution fluorescence microscopy“. Optics Express. 2018 Jan 22;26(2):1670-1680. doi: 10.1364/OE.26.001670.
  8. Sang Hak Lee, Chaoyi Jin, En Cai, Pinghua Ge, Yuji Ishitsuka, Kai Wen Teng, Andre A. de Thomaz, Duncan L. Nall, Murat Baday, Okunola Jeyifous, Daniel Demonte, Christopher M. Dundas, Sheldon Park, William N. Green, Paul R. Selvin. Super-resolution Imaging of Synaptic and Extra-synaptic Pools of AMPA Receptors with Different- sized Fluorescent Probes, eLife, July 26, 2017. eLife 2017;6:e27744 DOI:10.7554/eLife.27744
  9. Yuansheng Sun, Giorgio Tortarolo, Kai Wen Teng, Yuji Ishitsuka, Ulas C. Coskun, Shih-Chu Jeff Liao, Alberto Diaspro, Giuseppe Vicidomini, Paul R. Selvin, Beniamino Barbieri. "A novel pulsed STED microscopy method using FastFLIM and the phasor plots", Proc. SPIE 10069, Multiphoton Microscopy in the Biomedical Sciences XVII, 100691C (February 21, 2017); DOI:10.1117/12.2267880.
  10. Mikhail Eugene Kandel, Kai Wen Teng, Paul R. Selvin, and Gabriel Popescu. "Label-Free Imaging of Single Microtubule Dynamics Using Spatial Light Interference Microscopy", ACS Nano (2016) DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.6b06945
  11. Kai Wen Teng, Yuji Ishitsuka, Pin Ren, Yeoan Youn, Xiang Deng, Pinghua Ge, Sang Hak Lee, Andrew S. Belmont, and Paul Selvin. "Labeling proteins inside living cells using external fluorophores for microscopy", eLife, 2016;5:e20378. Accepted November 21, 2016. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.20378.001
  12. Zhang, Ruobing; Fruhwirth, Gilbert; Coban, Oana; Barrett, James; Burgoyne, Thomas; Lee, Sang Hak; Simonson, Paul; Baday, Murat; Kholodenko, Boris; Futter, Clare; Ng, Tony; Selvin, Paul R. "Probing the Heterogeneity of Protein Kinase Activation in Cells by Super-Resolution Microscopy. ACS Nano, Oct 21, 2016. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.6b05356. ACS Nano, Oct 21, 2016. General article: "High Density or Urban Sprawl: What Works Best in Biology?" doi: 10.1021/acsnano.6b05356 .
  13. Liang Ma, Chunlai Tu, Phuong Le, Shweta Chitoor, Sung Jun Lim, Mohammad U. Zahid, Kai Wen Teng, Pinghua Ge, Paul R. Selvin, and Andrew M. Smith Multidentate Polymer Coatings for Compact and Homogeneous Quantum Dots with Efficient Bioconjugation Journal of the American Chemical Society, 138; 3382-3394 (2016) doi: 10.1021/jacs.5b12378
  14. Yong Wang, En Cai, Tobias Rosenkranz, Pinghua Ge, Kai Wen Teng, Hee Jung Chung, Frederick Sachs, William N Green, Philip Gottlieb, and Paul R. Selvin Small Quantum Dots Conjugated to Nanobodies as Immunofluorescence Probes for Nanometric Microscopy Bioconjugate Chemistry, 2014 Dec 17;25(12):220511.doi:10.1021/bc5004179. Supplementary Information.
  15. En Cai, Pinghua Ge, Sang Hak Lee, Okunola Jeyifous, Yong Wang, Yanxin Liu, Katie M. Wilson, Sung Jun Lim, Michelle A. Baird, John E. Stone, Kwan Young Lee, Michael W. Davidson, Hee Jung Chung, Klaus Schulten, Andrew M. Smith, William N. Green, Paul R. Selvin, "Stable small quantum dots for synaptic receptor tracking on live neurons." Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Vol. 53 12484-12488.  Laser Focus World Article (2014) Supplementary Information.
  16. Yong Wang, En Cai, Janet Sheung, Sang Hak Lee and Paul R. Selvin. Fluorescence Imaging with One-Nanometer Accuracy (FIONA), JoVE, issue 91, September 26, 2014, doi:10.3791/51774
  17. Benjamin H. Blehm, Paul R. Selvin. Single-Molecule Fluorescence and In Vivo Traps: How Multiple Dyneins Kinesins Interact.Chemical Reviews, Volume:114 Issue: 6 Special Issue: SI Pages: 3335-3352, 2014; doi: 10.1021/cr4005555.
  18. Yong Wang, Hannah DeBerg, Yanxin Liu, Takeshi Nomura, Melinda Tonks-Hoffman, Paul Rohde, Klaus Schulten, Boris Martinac, Paul R. Selvin: Single Molecule FRET Reveals the Pore Size and Opening Mechanism of a Mechano-Sensitive Ion Channel., eLife, Volume 3, Article Number: e01834, Published: Feb 18, 2014 doi:,
  19. Wang Y, Fruhwirth G, Cai E, Ng T, Selvin PR. "3D super-resolution imaging with blinking quantum dots". Supplementary Information, Nano letters. 2013 Nov 13;13(11):5233–41. PMCID: PMC3874875
  20. Hannah A. Deberg, Benjamin H. Blehm, Janet Sheung, Andrew R. Thompson, Carol S. Bookwalter, Seyed F. Torabi, Trina A. Schroer, Christopher L. Berger, Yi Lu, Kathleen M. Trybus and Paul R. Selvin, et al. Motor Domain Phosphorylation Modulates Kinesin-1 Transport. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2013  288: 32612-32621
  21. HyeongJun Kim and Paul R. Selvin. "Fluorescence imaging with one nano-meter accuracy (FIONA)." Review Article. Encyclopedia of Biophysics. Springer Publishing, 2013.
  22. Hannah Deberg and Paul R. Selvin. "Single molecule high-resolution imaging with photobleaching (SHRImP)." Review Article. Encyclopedia of Biophysics. Springer Publishing, 2013.
  23. Blehm BH, Schroer TA, Trybus KM, Chemla YU, Selvin PR. "In vivo optical trapping indicates kinesin's stall force is reduced by dynein during intracellular transport." Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2013 Feb 26; 110(9);3381-6. PMCID: PMC3587256. {supporting material}
  24. Lele Li, Pinghua Ge, Paul R.Selvin, Yi Lu. "Direct Detection of Adenosine in Undiluted Serum Using a Luminescent Aptamer Sensor Attached to a Terbium Complex." Anal. Chem., 2012, 84 (18), pp 7852–7856. (2012).
  25. Murat Baday, Aaron Cravens, Alex Hastie, HyeongJun Kim, Deren Kudeki, Pui-Yan Kwok, Ming Xiao, Paul R. Selvin. "Multicolor Super-Resolution DNA Imaging for Genetic Analysis." Nano Letters 12, 3861-3866 (2012). Supplementary Information. Erratum.
  26. Le-Le Li, Ruobing Zhang, Leilei Yin, Kezhi Zheng, Weiping Qin, Paul R. Selvin, and Yi Lu. "Biomimetic Surface Engineering of Lanthanide-Doped Upconversion Nanoparticles as Versatile Bioprobes." Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English). doi:10.1002/anie.201109156 (2012). Erratum.
  27. Sang Hak Lee, Murat Baday, Marco Tjioe, Paul D. Simonson, Ruobing Zhang, En Cai, Paul R. Selvin. "Using fixed fiduciary markers for stage drift correction." Optics Express 20(11), 12177-12183 (2012). Reprinted in Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics (see
  28. Melinda Tonks Hoffman, Janet Sheung, Paul R. Selvin. "Fluorescence imaging with one nanometer accurracy: in vitro and in vivo studies of molecular motors." Methods in Molecular Biology 778:33-56 (2011) DOI: 10.1007/978-1-61779-261-8_4.
  29. Paul D. Simonson, Eli Rothenberg, Paul R. Selvin. "Single-Molecule-Based Super-Resolution Images in the Presence of Multiple Fluorophores." Nano Letters 11, 5090-5096 (Oct 17, 2011). {supporting material}
  30. Ruobing Zhang, Eli Rothenberg, Gilbert Fruhwirth, Paul D. Simonson, Fangfu Ye, Ido Golding, Tony Ng, Ward Lopes, Paul R. Selvin. "Two-Photon 3D FIONA of Individual Quantum Dots in an Aqueous Environment." Nano Letters 11, 4074-4078 (2011).
  31. Eli Rothenberg, Leonardo A. Sepúlveda, Samuel O. Skinner, Lanying Zeng, Paul R. Selvin, Ido Golding. "Single-Virus Tracking Reveals a Spatial-Receptor Dependent Search Mechanism." Biophysical Journal 100(12), 2875-2882 (Jun 22, 2011).
  32. Yanxin Liu, Jen Hsin, HyeongJun Kim, Paul R. Selvin, Klaus Schulten. "Extension of a Three-Helix Bundle Domain of Myosin VI and Key Role of Calmodulins." Biophysical Journal 100(12), 2964-2973 (Jun 22, 2011). {cover}
  33. Patel, G.S., Kiuchi, T., Lawler, K., Ofo, E., Fruhwirth, G.O., Kelleher, M., Shamil, E., Zhang, R., Selvin, P.R., Santis, G., Spicer, J., Woodman, N., Gillett, C.E., Barber, P.R., Vojnovic, B., Kéri, G., Schaeffter, T., Goh, V., O'Doherty, M.J., Ellis, P.A., Ng, T . "The challenges of integrating molecular imaging into the optimization of cancer therapy." Integrative Biology 3, 603-631 (Mar 2, 2011).
  34. Paul D. Simonson, Paul R. Selvin. "FIONA, applied In Vitro and In Vivo," Imaging in Neuroscience and Development." Cold Spring Harbor Press (December 2010).
  35. Fiona E. Müllner, Sheyum Syed, Paul R. Selvin, Fred J. Sigworth. "Improved Hidden Markov Models for Molecular Motors, 1: Basic Theory." Biophysical Journal 99(11), 3684-3695 (Dec 1, 2010). {supporting material}
  36. Sheyum Syed, Fiona E. Müllner, Paul R. Selvin, Fred J. Sigworth. “Improved Hidden Markov Models for Molecular Motors, 2: Extensions and Application to Experimental Data.” Biophysical Journal 99(11), 3696-3703 (Dec 1, 2010). {supporting material}
  37. Paul D. Simonson, Hannah A. Deberg, Pinghua Ge, John K. Alexander, Okunola Jeyifous, William N. Green, Paul R. Selvin. "Counting Bungarotoxin Binding Sites of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in Mammalian Cells with High Signal/Noise Ratios." Biophysical Journal 99(10):L81-3 (Nov 17, 2010). {cited as 9th most read paper for 2010 Biophysical Journal}
  38. HyeongJun Kim, Jen Hsin, Yanxin Liu, Paul R. Selvin, Klaus Schulten. "Formation of Salt Bridges Mediates Internal Dimerization of Myosin VI Medial Tail Domain." Structure 18, 1443-1449 (Nov 10, 2010). {supplemental info}{perspective}
  39. Erdal Toprak, Comert Kural, Paul R. Selvin, "Super-accuracy and super-resolution: Getting around the diffraction limit," Methods in Enzymology 475:1-26 (2010).
  40. Jeff G. Reifenberger, Erdal Toprak, HyeongJun Kim, Dan Safer, H. Lee Sweeney, and Paul R. Selvin. "Myosin VI undergoes a 180° Power stroke implying an uncoupling of the front lever arm." PNAS 106(43):18255-18260 (October 27, 2009). on-line Oct 14, 2009. {letter} {reply}
  41. Monalisa Mukherjea, Paola Llinas, HyeongJun Kim, Mirko Travaglia, Dan Safer, Alan B. Zong, Julie Ménétrey, Clara Franzini-Armstrong, Paul R. Selvin, Anne Houdusse and H. Lee Sweeney "Myosin VI dimerization triggers an unfolding of a 3-helix bundle in order to extend its reach," Molecular Cell 35(3): 305 - 315(2009).
  42. Erdal Toprak, Ahmet Yildiz, Mindy Hoffman, Steven S. Rosenfeld, and Paul R. Selvin. "Why Kinesin Is So Processive", PNAS 106:12717-12722 (June 16, 2009).
  43. Comert Kural, Michael Nonet, Paul R. Selvin. "FIONA on C. elegans" Biochemistry 48(22):4663-5209 (June 9, 2009).
  44. Igor M. Kulic, Andre E.X. Brown, Hwajin Kim, Comert Kural, Benjamin Blehm, Paul R. Selvin, Philip C. Nelson and Vladimir I. Gelfand. The Role of Microtubule Movement in Bidirectional Organelle Transport. PNAS,105, 10011–10016 (July 22, 2008). Supporting information.
  45. David J. Posson and Paul R. Selvin. The Shaker K+ Channel S4 Voltage Sensor Undergoes a 10 Å Translation during Gating as Measured by Luminescence Energy Transfer Experiments. Neuron, Vol 59, 98-109, 10 July 2008. Supplemental Data. General news: Ion Channels Caught in Opening Act, July 9, 2008, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  46. Pinghua Ge and Paul R. Selvin. New Nine- or Ten-dentate Luminescent Lanthanide Chelates. Bioconjugate Chem. 19(5), 1105-1111 (2008). Epub 2008 Apr 29.
  47. Hasan Yardimci, Marilyn van Duffelen, Yinghui Mao, Steven S. Rosenfeld, Paul R. Selvin. The mitotic kinesin CENP-E is a processive transport motor. PNAS 105 (16): 6016–6021, April 22, 2008. General news:
  48. Paul R. Selvin: In vitro & in vivo FIONA and other acronyms for watching molecular motors walk. Single Molecules: A Laboratory Manual. Cold Spring Harbor Press. Edited by Paul R. Selvin, Taekjip Ha, Univ. of Illinois, 2007.
  49. Watching Molecular Motors Walk with FIONA, Cold Spring Harbor on-line Protocols, 2007:
  50. Hyokeun Park, Erdal Toprak, Paul R. Selvin: Single-molecule fluorescence to study molecular motors. Quarterly Review of Biophys. 40(1):87-111, Feb 2007.
  51. Erdal Toprak, Hamza Balci, Benjamin H. Blehm, Paul R. Selvin.Three-Dimensional Particle Tracking via Bifocal Imaging. Nano Lett., 7 (7), 2043 -2045, 2007. {commentary on article } {supplementary notes 1} {supplementary methods }{supplementary figures 1}{supplementary figures2}
  52. H. Lee Sweeney, Hyokeun Park, Alan B. Zong, Paul R. Selvin, and Steven S. Rosenfeld. How Myosin VI Coordinates its Heads During Processive Movement EMBO J. 2007 Jun 6;26(11):2682-92. Epub 2007 May 17.{supplemental figure 1}{supplemental figure 2}{supplemental figure 4}{supplemental figure 5}{supplemental figure 6}{supplemental figure 7}{supplemental figure 9}{supplemental figure 10}
  53. Ming Xiao, Matthew P. Gordon, Angie Phong, Connie Ha, Ting-Fung Chan, Dongmei Cai, Paul R. Selvin, Pui-Yan Kwok. Determination of Haplotypes from Single DNA Molecules: A Method for Single Molecule Barcoding. Human Mutation; 28(9):913-21, Sep. 2007. eprint April 18, 2007.
  54. Comert Kural, Anna S. Serpinskaya, Ying-Hao Chou, Robert D. Goldman, Vladimir I. Gelfand, and Paul R. Selvin. Tracking melanosomes inside a cell to study molecular motors and their interaction.PNAS 104;5378-5382 (March 2007) (originally published online Mar 16, 2007) {supplemental figure 1}{supplemental figure 2} {supplemental figure 3}
  55. Hwajin Kim, Shuo-Chien Ling, Gregory C. Rogers, Comert Kural, Paul R. Selvin, Stephen L. Rogers, and Vladimir I. Gelfand. Microtubule binding by dynactin is required for microtubule organization but not cargo transport. J. Cell Biology 176, 641-651 (Feb 26, 2007).{journal cover}
  56. Erdal Toprak, Paul R. Selvin: New Fluorescent Tools for Watching Nanometer-Scale Conformational Changes of Single Molecules, Annual Review of Biophysics and Biomolecular Structure, Vol. 36, pg. 349-69, 2007).
  57. Hyokeun Park, Anna Li, Li-Qiong Chen, Anne Houdusse, Paul R. Selvin, and H. Lee Sweeney. The unique insert at the end of the myosin VI motor is the sole determinant of directionality. PNAS 104, 778–783 (January 16, 2007). {movie 1} {movie 2} {movie 3} {movie 4}{commentary on article}
  58. Ming Xiao, Angie Phong, Connie Ha, Ting-Fung Chan, Dongmei Cai, Lucinda Leung, Eunice Wan, Amy L. Kistle, Joseph L. DeRisi, Paul R. Selvin, Pui-Yan Kwok. Rapid DNA Mapping by fluorescent single molecule detection. Nucleic Acids Research, 35, e16 (2007){published on line - Nucleic Acids Research, Dec. 14, 2006}. {supporting materials}
  59. Jessica Richardson, Rikard Blunck, Pinghua Ge, Paul R. Selvin, Francisco Bezanilla, Diane Papazian, Ana M. Correa: Distance measurements reveal a common topology of prokaryotic voltage-gated ion channels in the lipid bilayer. Proc Natl Acad Sci 103(43):15865-70 (2006 Oct 24). Epub 2006 Oct 16.{Supplemental Figure 6}{Supplemental Figure 7}{Supplemental Figure 8}{Supplemental Figure 9a}{Supplemental Figure 9b}{Supplemental Figure 10}
  60. Jörg Enderlein, Erdal Toprak, and Paul R. Selvin: Polarization Effect on Position Accuracy of FIONA. Optics Express. J. 14: 8111-8120 (4 September 2006)
  61. Lorin S. Milescu, Ahmet Yildiz, Paul R. Selvin, Frederick Sachs: "Extracting dwell time sequences from processive molecular motor data,(Biophys J, Vol. 91, pg. 3135-3150, November 2006).
  62. Lorin S. Milescu, Ahmet Yildiz, Paul R. Selvin, Frederick Sachs: "Maximum likelihood estimation of molecular motor kinetics from staircase dwell time sequences," Biophys J. ;91(4):1156-68 (2006 Aug 15). Epub 2006 May 5.
  63. Sheyum Syed, Greg E. Snyder, Clara Franzini-Armstrong, Paul R. Selvin, Yale, E. Goldman: Simultaneous detection of the position and structural dynamics of myosin V. (on-line, April 6) EMBO J. May 3; 25(9):1795-803 (2006){cover}
  64. Erdal Toprak, Joerg Enderlein, Sheyum Syed, Sean A. McKinney, Rolfe G.Petschek, Taekjip Ha, Yale E. Goldman, Paul R. Selvin. Defocused orientation and position imaging (DOPI) of myosin V. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 103, (April 17) 6495-9 (2006). {Biophotonics article}
  65. Hyokeun Park, Bugs Ramamurthy, Dan Safer, Mirko Travaglia, Li-Qiong Chen, Clara Franzini-Armstrong, Paul R. Selvin & H. Lee Sweeney. Full-length myosin VI dimerizes and moves processively along actin filaments upon monomer clustering, (Molecular Cell, 21, 331–336, February 3, 2006). {University of Illinois News Bureau online article}{journal cover}{Peckham Commentary from Nature}
  66. Comert Kural, Hamza Balci, Paul R. Selvin. Molecular Motors One at a Time: FIONA to the Rescue. Journal of Physics Condensed Matter: Special issue on Molecular Motors, 17, S3979-S3995 (2005).
  67. Hamza Balci, Taekjip Ha, H. Lee Sweeney, Paul R. Selvin. Interhead distance in myosin VI via SHRIMP supports a hand-over-hand model with a long lever arm. (eprint Apr 29, 2005; Biophys. J., 89(1): 413-7, July 2005 ).
  68. Takeshi Sakamoto, Ahmet Yildiz, Paul R. Selvin, and James R. Sellers. Step-size is Determined by Neck Length in Myosin V. Biochemistry. 2005 Dec 13;44(49):16203-16210.
  69. David J. Posson, Pinghua Ge, Christopher Miller, Francisco Bezanilla & Paul R. Selvin. Small vertical movement of a K+ channel voltage-sensor measured with luminescence energy transfer. Nature, 436, 848-851(2005).
  70. Paul R. Selvin: Walk like a molecular motor, The Scientist, Vol. 19, June 20, 2005. {journal cover}
  71. Jeff G. Reifenberger, Pinghua Ge, Paul R. Selvin: Progress in Lanthanides as Luminescent Probes. Annual Reviews in Fluorescence. Editors: Geddes, C.D., Lakowicz, J.R., Springer (2005).
  72. Comert Kural, Hwajin Kim, Sheyum Syed, Gohta Goshima, Vladimir I. Gelfand, Paul R. Selvin. Kinesin & Dynein Move a Peroxisome In Vivo: A Tug-of-War or Coordinated Movement? (PDF) (Science Express, April 7, 2005; Science, 308, 1469-1472(2005)).{supplemental material}{Kural Article}{supplemental material- Nature Reviews}{JCB}{Biophotonics International article, June 2005}
  73. Ahmet Yildiz, Paul R.Selvin. Fluorescence Imaging with One Nanometer Accuracy (FIONA): Application to Molecular Motors. Accounts of Chemical Research,38(7), 574-82 (2005)
  74. Ahmet Yildiz, Paul R.Selvin. Kinesin: walking, crawling, or sliding along? Trends in Cell Biology, 15, 112-120(2005).
  75. Hyokeun Park, George Hanson, Steven Duff, Paul Selvin. Nanometer Localization of Single ReAsH Molecules. Journal of Microscopy, 216, 199-205(2004).
  76. Pinghua Ge and Paul R. Selvin. Carbostyril derivatives as antenna molecules for luminescent lanthanide chelates. Bioconjugate, Chem. 2004, 15, 1088-1094 (2004).
  77. Gregory E. Snyder, Takeshi Sakamoto, John A. Hammer, III, James R.Sellers, and Paul R. Selvin. Nanometer Localization of Single Green Fluorescent Proteins: Evidence that Myosin V Walks Hand-Over-Hand via Telemark Configuration Biophys. J., 87: 1776-1783 (2004).
  78. Ahmet Yildiz, Hyokeun Park, Dan Safer, Zhaohui Yang, Li-Qiong Chen, Paul R.Selvin & H. Lee Sweeney. Myosin VI steps via a hand-over-hand mechanism with its lever arm undergoing fluctuations when attached to actin. J. Biol. Chem., 279: 37223-37226 (2004).{UIUC College of Engineering Link}{journal cover}
  79. Matthew P. Gordon, Taekjip Ha, Paul R. Selvin: Single Molecule High Resolution Imaging with Photobleaching, P.N.A.S. 101: 6462-6465 (2004). {general description}
  80. Ahmet Yildiz, Michio Tomishige, Ronald D. Vale, Paul R. Selvin. Kinesin Walks Hand-Over-Hand. Science, 303, 676-678 (2004). {UIUC Physics Link}, {supporting online materials}
  81. Jeff Reifenberger, Gregory E. Snyder, Gordon A. Baym, Paul R. Selvin: Emission Polarization Properties of Europium and Terbium Chelates. J. Phys. Chem B , 107, 12862-12873 (2003).
  82. Tania Chakrabarty, Chris Yengo, Corry Baldacchino, Li-Qiong Chen, H. Lee Sweeney, Paul R. Selvin: Does the S2 rod of Myosin II uncoil upon two-headed binding to actin? A zippered HMM study. Biochemistry, 42, 12886-12892 (2003).
  83. Pinghua Ge, Paul R. Selvin: Thiol-reactive Lanthanide Chelates, II. Bioconjugate Chem., 14, 870-876 (2003).
  84. Ahmet Yildiz, Joseph N. Forkey, Sean A. McKinney, Taekjip Ha, Yale E. Goldman, Paul R. Selvin. Myosin V walks hand-over-hand: Single fluorophore imaging with 1.5 nm localization. Science, 300 (5628) 2061-2065 (online June 5, 2003; in print June 27, 2003). {supporting online materials}, {movie}, {perspective}, {cover illustration}{UIUC Physics link}, {}. Science Breakthrough Runner-Up, Science, 2003
  85. Ming Xiao, Jeffrey G. Reifenberger, Amber L Wells, Li-Qiong Chen, Pinghua Ge, H. Lee Sweeney, Paul R. Selvin: An Actin-dependent conformational change in myosin. Nature Structural Biology, 10, 402-408 (May, 2003).
  86. Paul R. Selvin: "Lanthanide-labeled DNA" in Topics in Fluorescence Spectroscopy, Vol 7, 177-212,  Joseph Lakowicz, ed., Kluwer Academic/Plenum, New York (2003).
  87. Matthew P. Gordon, Paul R. Selvin: A Microcontroller-Based Failsafe for Single Photon Counting Modules. Rev. Sci. Instruments, 74(2), 1150-1152 (2003). [SOURCE CODE] [Reprinted in Virtual Journal of Biological Physics Research, Feb. 1, 2003,]
  88. Paul R. Selvin: Lighting up Single Ion Channels, Biophys. J.  "New and Notable" Commentary, 84, 1-2 (2003).
  89. Michael D. Purdy, Pinghua Ge, Jiyan Chen,  Paul R. Selvin  and  Michael C. Wiener: Thiol-reactive lanthanide chelates for  phasing of  protein x-ray diffraction data, Acta Crystallographica Section D (58: 1111-1117 (2002).
  90. Paul R. Selvin: Principles and Biophysical Applications of Luminescent Lanthanide Probes, Annual Review of Biophysics and Biomolecular Structure. Vol. 31, pp. 275-302, (2002).
  91. Tania Chakrabarty, Ming Xiao, Roger Cooke, Paul R. Selvin: Holding two heads together: Stability of the Myosin II rod measured by resonance energy transfer between the heads. Proc. Nat'l. Acad. Sci., USA,  99: 6011-6016 (2002).
  92. Ming Xiao and Paul R. Selvin: Quantum yields of luminescent lanthanide chelates and far-red dyes measured by resonance energy transfer. J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 123 (29), 7067-7073 (2001).
  93. Paul R. Selvin: The renaissance of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (invited review). Nature Structural Biology 7(9), 730-734 (2000).
  94. Jiyan Chen, Paul R. Selvin: Synthesis of 7-Amino-4-trifluoromethyl-2-(1H)-quinolinone and its Use as an Antenna Molecule for Luminescent Europium Polyaminocarboxylates Chelates. Photochem. Photobio. A: Chemistry, 135, 27-32 (2000). 
  95. Jiyan Chen, Paul R. Selvin: Lifetime and color-tailored fluorophores in the micro- to milli-second time regime. J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 122(4) 657-660 (2000).
  96. Albert Cha, Gregory E. Snyder, Paul R. Selvin, Francisco Bezanilla: Atomic scale movement of the voltage sensing region in a potassium channel measured via spectroscopy. Nature 402,  809-813 (1999).
  97. Ming Xiao, Paul R. Selvin: An Improved Instrument for Measuring Time-resolved Lanthanide Emission and Resonance Energy Transfer. Review of Scientific Instruments 70 (10), 3877-3881 (1999).
  98. Elise Burmeister Getz, Ming Xiao, Tania Chakrabarty, Roger Cooke, Paul R. Selvin: A Comparison Between the Sulfhydryl Reductants Tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine and Dithiothreitol for use in Protein Biochemistry. Analytical Biochemistry 273 (10) 73-80 (1999).
  99. Jiyan Chen, Paul R. Selvin: Thiol-reactive Luminescent Chelates of Terbium and Europium. Bioconjugate Chemistry 10 (2), 311 -315 (1999).
  100. Paul R. Selvin: Luminescent Lanthanide Chelates for Improved Resonance Energy Transfer and Applications to Biology in Applied Fluorescence in Chemistry, Biology and Medicine, edited by W. Rettig, B. Strehmenl, S. Schrader, Springer Verlag, pp 457-487 (1999).
  101. Ming Xiao, Handong Li, Gregory E. Snyder, Roger Cooke, Ralph G. Yount, Paul R. Selvin: Conformational Changes between the Active-site and Regulatory Light Chain of Myosin as Determined by Luminescence Resonance Energy Transfers: The effect of nucleotides and actin. Proc. Nat'l Acad. Sci., USA. 95, 15309-15314 (1998).
  102. Elise Burmeister Getz, Roger Cooke, Paul R. Selvin: Luminescence Resonance Energy Transfer Measurements in Myosin. Biophysical J. 74 (5) 2451-2458 (1998).
  103. Gyorgy Vereb, Elisabeth Jares-Erijman, Paul R. Selvin, Thomas M. Jovin: Temporally and Spectrally Resolved Imaging Microscopy of Lanthanide Chelates. Biophysical J. 74 (5) 2210-2222 (1998).
  104. Taekjip Ha, Thilo Enderle, Daniel S. Chemla, Paul R. Selvin, Shimon Weiss: Quantum Jumps of Single Molecules at Room Temperature. Chem. Phys. Letters 271, 1-5 (1997).
  105. Min Li, Paul R. Selvin: Amine-reactive Forms of a Luminescent DTPA Chelate of Terbium and Europium: Attachment to DNA and Energy Transfer Measurements. Bioconjugate Chemistry 8 (2), 127-132 (1997).
  106. Paul R. Selvin: Lanthanide-based Resonance Energy Transfer. IEEE J. of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics: "Lasers in Biology" 2 (4), 1077-1087 (1996).
  107. Taekjip Ha, Thilo Enderle, Daniel S. Chemla, Paul R. Selvin, Shimon Weiss: Single Molecule Dynamics Studied by Polarization Modulation. Physical Review Letters 77 (19), 3979-3982 (1996).
  108. Taekjip Ha, Thilo Enderle, D. Frank Ogletree, Daniel S. Chemla, Paul R. Selvin, Shimon Weiss: Probing the Interaction between Two Single Molecules: Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer between a Single Donor and a Single Acceptor Molecule. Proc. Nat. Acad of Sci. 93 (13), 6264-6268 (1996).
  109. Paul R. Selvin, Jaru Jancarik, Min Li, Li-Wei Hung: Crystal Structure and Spectroscopic Characterization of a Luminescent Europium Chelate.   Inorganic Chemistry 35, 700-705 (1996).
  110. Min Li, Paul R. Selvin: Luminescent Lanthanide Polyaminocarboxylate Chelates: The Effect of Chelate Structure. J. of the American Chemical Soc. 117, 8132-8138 (1995).
  111. Paul R. Selvin: "Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer," in Methods in Enzymology (Vol. 246, Biochemical Spectroscopy, ed. Kenneth Sauer) Ch 13, 300-334 (1995).
  112. Paul R. Selvin, Tariq, M. Rana, John E. Hearst: Luminescence Resonance Energy Transfer.  J. of the American Chemical Soc., Communication to the Editor, 116, 6029-6030 (1994).
  113. Paul R. Selvin, John E. Hearst: Luminescence Energy Transfer Using a Terbium Chelate: Improvements on Fluorescence Energy Transfer.  Proc. Nat. Acad. of Sci. 91, 10024-10028 (1994).
  114. Paul R. Selvin, David N. Cook, Ning G. Pon, William R. Bauer, Melvin P. Klein, John E. Hearst: Torsional Rigidity of Positively and Negatively Supercoiled DNA. Science 255, 82-85 (1992).
  115. Paul R. Selvin, Bethe A. Scalettar, John P. Langmore, Daniel Axelrod, Melvin P. Klein, John E. Hearst: A Polarized Photobleaching Study of Chromatin Reorientation in Intact Nuclei.  J. of Molecular Biology 214, 911-922 (1990).
  116. Bethe A. Scalettar, Paul R. Selvin, Daniel Axelrod, Melvin P. Klein, John E. Hearst: A Polarized Photobleaching Study of DNA Reorientation in Agarose Gels.  Biochemistry 29, 4790-4798 (1990).
  117. Bethe A. Scalettar, Paul R. Selvin, Daniel Axelrod, John E. Hearst, Melvin P. Klein: A Fluorescence Photobleaching Study of the Microsecond Reorientation of DNA. Biophysical J. 53, 215-226 (1988).
  118. Marshall D. Graham, Paul R. Selvin: Separation of Lanthanide-Binding Cells. IEEE Transactions on Magnetics 18 (6), 1523-1525 (1982).

+ 12 peer-reviewed Conference Proceedings


  1. Paul R. Selvin, Pinghua Ge: "Small Water-soluble Quantum Dots,"; US Pat No. 9,229,006; Issued: January 05, 2016. Application No. 14/184,558; filed February, 19, 2014; Conf No. 8560]. Issue Notification Letter.
  2. Paul R. Selvin, Ruobing Zhang, Eli Rothenberg "Two-Photon 3-D Fiona of Individual Quantum Dots," [App No. 13/949,221; filed July 23, 2013; Conf No. 1047] US Ser No. 61/674,406; Filed July 23, 2012; U.S. Patent No. 9,012,870; issued April 21, 2015.
  3. Paul R. Selvin, Sang Hak Lee: "A Simple Ultra-Stable Stage with Built-in Fiduciary Markers for Fluorescence Nanoscopy" issued May 06, 2014. Ser No. 13/118,400; Conf No.9487; U.S. Patent No. 08,717,673; Filed: May 28, 2011. Issue Notification; Issue Notification Letter.
  4. Paul R. Selvin, Paul D. Simonson: "Photobleaching and Intermittency Localization Microscopy," U.S. Patent No. 8,445,867, issued May 21, 2013. [App No. 13/578,218 filed Aug 9, 2012 with Ser No. PCT/US11/25750 for a provisional PCT Feb 22, 2011.] Issue Notification; Issue Notification Letter; Application
  5. Paul R. Selvin, Matthew Gordon, Pui-Yan Kwok, Ming Xiao, Ting-Fung Chan: "Polynucleotide Barcoding," U.S. Patent No. 7,829,278, issued Nov, 9, 2010. [U.S. Patent Application No. 10/976,546, filed Oct 28, 2004.]
  6. Ming Xiao, Pui-Yan Kwok, Paul Selvin, Matthew Gordon: "Methods for determining genetic haplotypes and DNA mapping," U.S. Patent No. 7,771,944, issued Aug 10, 2010. [U.S. Patent Application No. 11/957,216, filed Dec 14, 2007.]
  7. Paul R. Selvin, Pinghua Ge: "Luminescent Lanthanide Binding Chelates," U.S. Patent No. 08,110,404, issued Feb 7, 2012. [U.S. Patent Application No. TF05135, filed Nov 11, 2005.]
  8. Paul R. Selvin: "Semiconductor Luminescence Quenchers for Detecting Proximal Molecular Binding Events," U.S. Patent Application No. 09/430,384 [filed Oct 28, 1999; allowed Feb 11, 2003] #6667179.
  9. Paul R. Selvin, Jiyan Chen: "Improved Sensitizers for Luminescent Europium Chelates," U.S. Patent Application No. 60/167,144 [filed Nov 23, 1999].
  10. a) Paul R. Selvin, John E. Hearst: "Luminescent Lanthanide Chelates and Methods of Use," U.S. Patent numbers 5,622,821 [issued Apr 22, 1997], 5,639,615 [issued Jun 17, 1997], 5,656,433 [issued Aug 12, 1997].
    b) International patents: Australia (AU Pat No 688,928); Canada (CIPO Pat No 2,193,501); Japan (JPO Pat No. 3814291); European: B94-044EU. (Also filed in: Great Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Sweden.)

Magazine Articles for General Science Audience:

  1. The Future University: Leaner and Meaner? Science Vol. 270 Oct. 6, 1995 p. 135-136.
  2. Harrison Case: No Calm After the Storm. Science Vol. 262 Oct. 15, 1993, p. 324-327.
  3. Sex Discrimination: Jenny Harrison Finally Gets Tenure in Math at Berkeley. Science Vol. 261 Jul. 16, 1993, p. 286.
  4. How Do Particles Put on Weight? Science Vol 259 Jan. 8 1993, p. 173-174.
  5. A Gauntlet of Tests for the Theory. Science Vol 259 Jan. 8 1993, p. 174.
  6. Future Conditional: Math Education - Multiplying the Meager Numbers. Science Vol 258, Nov. 13, 1992, p. 1200-1201.
  7. AAAS Mass Media Newsletter - June 1992. Guest column.
  8. "The Big Speedup" (DNA Sequencing) Science Vol. 257, Aug. 14, 1992, p. 885.
  9. "The Dyers Hand" (DNA Detection) Science Vol. 257, Aug. 14, 1992, p. 886.
  10. "Genentechies Split on Biodiversity Treaty" Science Vol. 257 July 17, 1992, p. 323.
  11. "Profile of a Field: Mathematics - Heroism is Still the Norm" Science Vol. 255 March 13, 1992, p. 1382-1383 (reprinted in Math Education society quarterly).
  12. "Does the Harrison Case Reveal Sexism in Math?" Science Vol. 252 June 28, 1991, p. 1781-1783.
  13. "Is There a Massive Neutrino?" and "Dreaming Up New Flavors" Science Vol. 251 March 22, 1991, p. 1426-1428.
  14. "The Raging Bull of Berkeley" and "Is Vincent Sarich Part of a National Trend?" Science Vol. 251, Jan. 25, 1991, p. 368-371.
  15. "Alaskan Pork: Aurora Fantasia" Science Vol 250, Nov. 23, 1990, p. 1073.
  16. "Charlie Cantor Gets Kicked Upstairs"Science Vol. 249, Sept. 14, 1990, p. 1238-1239.
  17. "Graduate students make history" Progressive, Vol. 53, p19, October 1989.
  18. "Computer Science: Campus Hackers and the Pentagon" The Nation, Nov. 28, 1988.

As a Science Writer at the Detroit Free Press while on a AAAS 1990 Fellowship I wrote 18 articles, ranging from cryonics, to tracing evolution via gene sequencing of different organisms, to the search for the original language, to technological advances in energy-efficiency.

Current Support

  1. PI, Dynamics of Kinesins, Dyneins, and Myosins. NIH AR44420 (continuation), 8/06-7/11: $2.98M.
  2. PI, NIH, GM 068625: Nanometric Fluorescence Imaging of Single Motor Proteins. To develop FIONA applied to in vitro kinesin, myosin V, myosin VI. 5/1/04-4/30/09, $2.1M
  3. PI, NIH, GM 074770: Fluorescence Changes in Shaker Potassium Ion Channel. To measure conformational changes in Shaker as a function of Voltage. 8/1/05-7/31/09.

Recent Past Support

  1. PI, NIH, GM. Genetically Targetable Labels for Light and EM: (Roger Tsien, UCSD, PI). Develop new GFP-like fluorophores. 07/04 - 06/08.
  2. PI, Advanced Fluorescence Energy Transfer on Actomyosin. NIH AR44420, 8/01 - 7/06: $1.81M.
  3. PI (with Taekjip Ha): Instrument Development for Imaging and Manipulation of Single Biomolecules. NSF DBI-02-15869, 06/01/02 - 5/31/05: $500k
  4. PI (with Ali Yazdani, S. Lance Cooper), Novel Nanoscale Probes of Single Biomolecules and Biomolecular Assemblies, Dept. of Energy DEFG02-91ER45439 (through the Frederick Seitz Material Research Laboratory): 1/00 - 1/05, $60k-$80k/yr.
  5. PI, Career: Conformational Changes in Voltage-controlled Ion Channels Measured by Advanced Fluorescence Techniques, NSF MCB99-84841, 01/01/00 - 12/31/05, Total: $500k.
  6. PI, Turning on and off voltage-gated ion channels: Is the on-off switch a plunger or rotating knob? Cottrell Scholars Fund, Research Corp. 05/01/00 - 04/30/05: $75,000
  7. PI, Watching Individual Ion Channels Move Using Advanced Fluorescence Methods: A Biophysical Study of the Proteins that Enable us to Think, See, Hear, Feel and Move. Funded by the Carver Trust. 10/31/99 - 03/30/03: $325,000.
  8. PI, Luminescence Resonance Energy Transfer on Actomyosin. NIH, 09/30/96 - 08/01/01. $525k total.
  9. PI, Luminescent Lanthanide Chelate Development, Sponsored Research. Funded by Amersham Life Sciences, Inc. Total : $285,000; Period: 07/01/97 - 06/30/00.
  10. PI, The Conformation of Voltage-controlled Ion Channels in Living Cells Studied by Fluorescence and Luminescence Resonance Energy Transfer. Funded by Research Corporation. Total Direct: $35,000; Period: 05/01/99 - 04/30/00.
  11. PI, Structure of the Myosin Dimer and Molecular Mechanism of Smooth Muscle Regulation. Funded by UIUC Research Board. Total Direct: $25,200; Period: 05/01/98 - 12/31/99.

Invited Talks

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Updated:  2/18/13