Kandice Levental

Levental, Kandice

Primary Appointment

Associate Professor of Research, Research Discipline, Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics


  • BS, Chemical Engineering, University of Texas
  • PhD, Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania

Contact Information

1340 Jefferson Park Ave
Pinn Hall 4010
Charlottesville, VA 22903

Research Disciplines

Biophysics, Cell and Developmental Biology, Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics

Research Interests

Fundamental mechanisms by which membranes and dietary lipids regulate cell physiology

Research Description

The structure and composition of the plasma membrane is a major determinant of its function, and while recent advances in super-resolution microscopy and isolated mammalian plasma membranes have provided key insights into this relationship, major open questions remain. For example, the precise molecular mechanisms of functional regulation of signaling by membrane domains are unknown. Further, the diversity of plasma membrane structure and composition, and the impact of this diversity on those cells’ functions, in various cell lineages have not been widely explored. Finally, the majority of cellular lipids are derived directly from dietary sources, but how a cell is able to buffer dietary changes and maintain homeostasis is unclear.

Combining tools from molecular and cell biology, membrane biophysics, protein biochemistry, and synthetic biology we seek to answer fundamental questions about the nature and function of cellular lipid membranes.

Selected Publications