New York University - College of Dentistry
Home The College Research Academic Programs Library/Resources Continuing Education Community Outreach International Programs
Click to View Virtual Tour
Faculty Information

John Evans, D.D.S, Ph.D.
Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology
Room 10365 Dental Center, 421 First Avenue
Fax: 212-995-4087



1978 B.S., Northwestern University

1982 D.D.S., University of Illinois

1993 Ph.D., California Institute of Technology


Research Interests / Professional Overview:

Our group is focusing on lessons from Nature.  The major question is:  how does Nature create three-dimensional inorganic/organic based materials like sea shells, invertebrate exoskeletons, and vertebrate bone, dentine, and enamel?

As we understand it, this process uses proteins that assemble into supramolecular structures that modulate the formation of biominerals. The resulting biocomposite structure usually has modified properties as a result of protein participation. Example of unique properties include fracture and puncture resistances, amorphous precursors, single crystal formation, surface catalysis and transmission/focusing/diffusion of light.

Our ultimate goal is to determine the molecular properties of these proteins that allow matrices to assemble, mineralize, and participate in the formation of naturally-occuring organic/inorganic skeletal structures.

Solving problems at the interface of biology and materials requires knowledge of polypeptide structure, function, and how this impacts the self-assembly process and the physical properties of the biocomposite. This information can then be applied in material engineering to create new synthetic materials. The experimental aspects of our research include the use of NMR spectroscopy, SEM, TEM and AFM visualization, circular dichroism and fluorescence spectrometry, mass spectrometry, x-ray diffraction, molecular simulations, and other techniques obtained through our various collaborations.

Interested Ph.D graduates who wish to do postdoctoral research with our group are encouraged to contact us via email and provide a CV plus the names and contact info for three advisors (Ph.D). Undergraduate and Graduate students from Departments of Chemistry, Biology, and NYU Medical Center can also contact us regarding joining our group as Ph.D candidates.


Current Funding:

Department of Energy (DOE)


Pub Med Articles:

Evans John Spencer


Representative Publications:

Evans, J.S. (2013) Cryst. Eng. Commun. 42, in press.

Perovic, I., Mandal, T., Evans, J.S. (2013) Biochemistry 52, 5696-5703. 

Ndao, M., Ponce, C.B., Evans, J.S. (2012) Faraday Discussions 159, 449-462.

Kim, I.W, Collino, S., Evans, J.S. (2012) Int. J. Mol. Sci. 13, 3949-3958.

Evans, J.S. (2012) Bioinformatics 28, 3182-3185.

Ponce, C.B., Evans, J.S. (2011) Crystal Growth and Design 11, 4690-4696.

Bromley, K.M., Kiss, A.S., Lokappa, S.B., Lakshminarayanan, R., Fan, D., Ndao, M., Evans, J.S., Moradian-Oldak, J. (2011) J. Biol. Chem. 286, 34643-34753.

Amos, F.F., Ndao, M., Ponce, C.B., Evans, J.S. (2011) Biochemistry 50, 8880-8887.

Amos, F.F., Ponce, C.B., Evans, J.S. (2011) Biomacromolecules 12, 1883-1890.

Ndao, M., Dutta, K., Bromley, K., Sun, Z., Lakshminarayanan, R., Rewari, G., Moradian-Oldak, J., Evans, J.S. (2011) Protein Science 20, 724-734.

Metzler, R.A., Evans, J.S., Killian, C.E., Zhou, D., Churchill, T.H., Appathurai, P.N., Coppersmith, S.N., Gilbert, P.U.P.A. (2010) J. Am. Chem Soc. 132, 6329-6334.

Keene, E.C, Evans, J.S., Estroff, L.A. (2010) Crystal Growth and Design 10, 5169-5175.

Ndao, M., Keene, E., Amos, F.F., Rewari, G., Ponce, C.B., Estroff, L.A., Evans, J.S. (2010) Biomacromolecules 11, 2539-2544.