Kate Kurgan

Credentials: Chemistry Ph.D., Spring 2021 (Gellman)

Professor Samuel H. Gellman
Towards Crystallization of Single-Pass Transmembrane Domains
Future Plans
I am working as a post-doctoral researcher in the Woolfson lab at the University of Bristol. My research is focused on targeting modular coiled-coil systems to the cellular membrane in order to induce membrane curvature.
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View publications through ORCID

  • Kurgan, K. W.; Kleman, A. F.; Bingman, C. A.; Kreitler, D. F.; Weisblum, B.; Forest, K. T.; Gellman, S. H. “Retention of Native Quaternary Structure in Racemic Melittin Crystals.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141(19), 7704- 7708.
  • Kurgan, K. W.; Chen, B.; Brown, K.; Cobra, P. F.; Ye, X.; Ge, Y.; Gellman, S. H. “Stable Picodisc Assemblies from Saposin Proteins and Branched Detergents.” Biochemistry 2021, 60(14), 1108-1119.


Kate Kurgan grew up in Wilmette, IL. Wilmette is located about 20 minutes north of Chicago and borders Evanston, IL, the home of her alma mater, Northwestern University. Kate attended Northwestern University after graduating from the all-girls high school Regina Dominican, where her interest in biochemistry was first sparked. During her undergraduate studies she worked in the Rosenzweig lab under the mentorship of Megen Culpepper to develop a soluble model of the active site of pMMO (housed in the soluble domain of the B subunit) in order to facilitate quantification of the conversion of methane to methanol and crystallization. After earning her B. A. in Chemistry, Kate worked in the Tuner lab at the University of Chicago as a lab technician for a year before entering the Chemistry graduate program at UW-Madison. As a member of the Gellman lab, her work has focused on the development of strategies to obtain atomic resolution structures of oligomeric single-pass transmembrane domains.

Favorite Memory

My favorite memories of my time at UW-Madison include: going to the library with my lab mates, going to the terrace with my lab mates, Christmas parties with my lab mates, Derby parties with my lab mates, and celebrating various accomplishments (passing second and third year requirements, landing jobs/post-docs, graduations, publications, etc) with my lab mates. I’m so lucky to have spent my time with such wonderful people.