Amy E. Keating, PhD

Photo of Professor Keating.



(617) 452-3398
Professor of Biological Engineering and Biology


Computational, biophysical, structural and proteomic studies of protein-protein interactions


Prof. Keating studied physics as an undergraduate at Harvard College and obtained her Ph.D. in 1998 from the University of California, Los Angeles. In her graduate work she applied computational and experimental methods in physical organic chemistry to the study of carbene reaction mechanisms. She started working on protein interactions as a postdoctoral fellow in the Whitehead Institute and the MIT Chemistry Department. A member of the MIT Biology Department since 2002, Prof. Keating joined the Department of Biological Engineering in 2014.


We are studying the specificity of protein-protein interactions in a research program that combines bioinformatic analysis, structural modeling, computational design and experimental characterization. Our aim is to understand, at a high level of detail, how the interaction properties of proteins are encoded in their sequences and structures. Most of our work is focused on two protein families that are important for human health: the α-helical coiled coil and the Bcl-2 family of apoptosis-regulating proteins.

Research Areas: 

Selected Publications:

Dutta, Sanjib, Stefano Gullá, Scott T Chen, Emiko Fire, Robert A. Grant, and Amy E. Keating. "Determinants of BH3 binding specificity for Mcl-1 versus Bcl-xL." J Mol Biol 398, no. 5 (2010): 747-62.
Thompson, Kenneth Evan, Caleb J. Bashor, Wendell A. Lim, and Amy E. Keating. "SYNZIP protein interaction toolbox: in vitro and in vivo specifications of heterospecific coiled-coil interaction domains." ACS Synth Biol 1, no. 4 (2012): 118-29.
Reinke, Aaron W., Jiyeon Baek, Orr Ashenberg, and Amy E. Keating. "Networks of bZIP protein-protein interactions diversified over a billion years of evolution." Science 340, no. 6133 (2013): 730-4.
DeBartolo, Joe, Mikko Taipale, and Amy E. Keating. "Genome-wide prediction and validation of peptides that bind human prosurvival Bcl-2 proteins." PLoS Comput Biol 10, no. 6 (2014): e1003693.