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Carolyn E. Machamer, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Cell Biology

Research Interests

Enveloped virus assembly; Intracellular protein trafficking; SARS; Coronaviruses; Intracellular virus assembly; Apoptosis; Golgi complex structure/function more


Dr. Carolyn Machamer is a professor of cell biology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her research focuses on the structure and function of the Golgi complex. 

Her team is currently studying the targeting and function of resident Golgi proteins as well as the assembly mechanism of coronaviruses.

Dr. Machamer received her undergraduate degree in biology from Bucknell University. She earned her Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Duke University. She completed postdoctoral training in molecular cell biology at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. Dr. Machaer joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1988.

Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, Dr. Machamer was an associate research scientist in the Department of Pathology at Yale University Medical School.

She is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Society for Cell Biology and American Society for Microbiology, and serves as the associate editor of Traffic. Her work was recognized with the American Heart Association Donna Garff Marriott Research Award in 2006. more


  • Professor of Cell Biology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes


Additional Training

  • Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA, 1987, Molecular Cell Biology

Research & Publications

Research Summary

The Golgi complex has an unusual structure, particularly in vertebrates, where stacks of cisternal membranes are clustered into a ribbon structure near the nucleus. One of Dr. Machamer's research goals is to understand the role of this structure in Golgi function. Toward this goal, she and her team are studying the targeting and function of resident Golgi proteins. They are interested in the contribution of the lipid bilayer to targeting of transmembrane Golgi proteins, and in the function of a group of peripheral Golgi membrane proteins called golgins.

Dr. Machamer's other research interest is the assembly mechanism of coronaviruses, enveloped viruses that bud into Golgi compartments. The recent emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which is caused by a novel coronavirus, has sparked much interest in this group of viruses. Her lab is addressing how coronaviruses target their envelope proteins to Golgi membranes, and how they interact with each other at the virus assembly site. They are also exploring how coronaviruses are exocytosed after they bud into the Golgi lumen. Their long-term goal is to understand the advantages of intracellular assembly for coronaviruses; this should lead to novel strategies for antiviral therapeutics.

Selected Publications

Gilbert CE, Zuckerman DM, Currier PL, and Machamer CE. 2014. "Three basic residues of intracellular loop 3 of the beta-1 adrenergic receptor are required for golgin-160-dependent trafficking." Int. J. Mol. Sci.15:2929-45.

Machamer CE. "Accommodation of large cargo within Golgi cisternae." Histochem Cell Biol. 2013 Sep;140(3):261-9. doi: 10.1007/s00418-013-1120-y. Epub 2013 Jul 3.

Chandran S, and Machamer CE. 2012. "Inactivation of ceramide transfer protein during proapoptotic stress by Golgi disassembly and caspase cleavage." Biochem. J., 442:391-402.

Ruch TR, and Machamer CE. 2012. "The coronavirus E protein: assembly and beyond." Viruses 4:363-382.

Ruch TR, and Machamer CE. 2012. "A single polar residue and distinct membrane topologies impact the function of the infectious bronchitis coronavirus E protein." PLoS Pathogens 8(5):e1002674.

Academic Affiliations & Courses

Graduate Program Affiliation

Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology Graduate Program

Activities & Honors


  • Donna Garff Marriott Research Award, American Heart Association, 2006
  • Graduate School Fellowship, Duke University, 1981 - 1983
  • Biomedical Research Grant, Duke University, 1977 - 1978
  • Professor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2005
  • Graduate Student "Teacher of the Year" Award, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 1995
  • Individual National Research Service Award (Postdoctoral), National Institutes of Health, 1984 - 1986
  • Special Achievement Award, National Institutes of Health, 1976
  • Biomedical Scholar, Pew, 1990
  • National Institutes of Health, Predoctoral Fellowship, 1976 - 1981


  • American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)
  • American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
  • American Society for Virology (ASV)

Professional Activities

  • Abstract Programming Committee, ASCB, 1992 - 1995
  • Alumni Meeting Planning Committee, Pew Scholars, 1998 - 1994
  • Associate Editor, Traffic
  • BCMB Admissions Committee, Johns Hopkins, 1990 - 2000
  • BCMB Curriculum Committee, Johns Hopkins, 2001
  • BCMB Exam Committee, Johns Hopkins, 1989 - 1991
  • BCMB Retreat Organizer, Johns Hopkins, 2000
  • BCMB Rotation Committee, Johns Hopkins, 1991 - 1993
  • Co-organizer, Johns Hopkins University Protein Trafficking Workshop, 2001
  • Co-organizer, Johns Hopkins In-House Cell Biology Meeting, 1995
  • Director, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2006
  • Institute for Excellence in Education (IEE) Board of Directors, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Johns Hopkins Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology (BCMB) Policy Committee
  • Local Arrangements Committee, ASCB, 2004
  • Medical School Council, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 1991 - 1993
  • Medical School Curriculum Review, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2003 - 2004
  • Mini-Symposium Organizer, ASCB National Meeting, 2002
  • Mini-Symposium Organizer, ASCB National Meeting, 1992
  • Minority Institution Faculty Scholar Program, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2002
  • Summer Academic Research Experience (SARE) Program, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Vice-chair, FASEB Conference on Protein Folding, 1992
  • Young Investigator Day Committee, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 1995 - 1998
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