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Kristen M. Varney, PhD

Academic Title:


Primary Appointment:

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Additional Title:

Manager, UMB NMR Core Facility Section Leader, Structural Biology, CBT


HSF2, Basement, NMR Suite

Phone (Primary):

(410) 706-2110

Phone (Secondary):

(410) 706-8335 (NMR room)

Education and Training

▪   University of Colorado, BS, Chemistry, 1999

▪   University of Colorado, BS, Biology, 1999

▪   University of Maryland, PhD, Molecular & Cell Biology, 2004


Dr. Varney has worked as manager of the UMB NMR Shared Service Facility for over 10 years, promoting the use of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy for use in ongoing and new NIH funded research projects at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. As manager of this facility Dr. Varney keeps the NMR spectrometers in good working condition (600 MHz, 800 MHz, and our recently purchased 950 MHz NMR), manages all NMR-related projects conducted at the UMB NMR facility, and performs NMR-related research. As manager of the UMB NMR Shared Service Facility a major component of Dr. Varney’s position is overseeing NIH-funded projects and training users. This training includes assisting investigators in preparing an appropriate NMR sample, troubleshooting sample conditions, setting up and running all NMR experiments, processing and analysis of NMR data and use of all NMR-related computer software for NMR structure and dynamic characterization of proteins, protein complexes, and complexes involving biomolecular therapeutics and small molecule inhibitors. In addition, Dr. Varney is skilled in implementing new NMR techniques for use in the facility, ensuring the best results for the >20 active projects currently in place at the facility.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Drug design, Structural Biology

Highlighted Publications

Varney KM, Bonvin AM, Pazgier M, Malin J, Yu W, et al. Turning defense into offense: defensin mimetics as novel antibiotics targeting lipid II. PLoS Pathog. 2013;9(11):e1003732. PubMed PMID: 24244161; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3820767.

Liriano MA, Varney KM, Wright NT, Hoffman CL, Toth EA, et al. Target binding to S100B reduces dynamic properties and increases Ca(2+)-binding affinity for wild type and EF-hand mutant proteins. J Mol Biol. 2012 Oct 26;423(3):365-85. PubMed PMID: 22824086; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3462298.

Charpentier TH, Wilder PT, Liriano MA, Varney KM, Zhong S, et al. Small molecules bound to unique sites in the target protein binding cleft of calcium-bound S100B as characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance and X-ray crystallography. Biochemistry. 2009 Jul 7;48(26):6202-12. PubMed PMID: 19469484; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2804263.

Vallely KM, Rustandi RR, Ellis KC, Varlamova O, Bresnick AR, et al. Solution structure of human Mts1 (S100A4) as determined by NMR spectroscopy. Biochemistry. 2002 Oct 22;41(42):12670-80. PubMed PMID: 12379109.