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Dr. Frank Ferrone

Frank Ferrone, PhD

Department of Physics
Office: Disque Hall 922
Phone: 215.895.2778

Additional Sites: Personal Page, Biophysics Group


  • BS, Physics, Manhattan College, 1969
  • MA, Physics, Princeton University, 1971
  • PhD, Physics, Princeton University, 1974

Research Interests:

  • Experimental and theoretical protein dynamics
  • Kinetics of biological self-assembly, including sickle cell and Alzheimer's disease, sickle cell testing and diagnostic devices


Professor Ferrone has employed novel optical methods for the study of protein behavior. As a graduate student at Princeton studying under Prof. John Hopfield, he developed the first kinetic CD instrument, based on flash photolysis; as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton he developed a method for studying kinetics in the frequency domain, modulated excitation. Both methods were designed to study conformational changes of normal hemoglobin. As a Staff Fellow at the NIH (1976-1980) working with Bill Eaton & Jim Hofrichter, he developed a steady-state microphotolysis method for the study of sickle hemoglobin polymerization, which provided the first subsecond kinetic measurements of that system, as well as the first study of rapid sickling in red cells. It was there that the double nucleation model for polymerization was developed, which has become the accepted paradigm for this assembly process. He moved to Drexel as an Assistant Professor in 1980, and developed a laboratory which continues to employ novel methods, which have included stochastic methods for measuring nucleation kinetics, modulation methods for measuring microsolubility, as well as novel microrheological methods for studying polymers and associated domains. This work has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1982; in the process, Professor Ferrone has supervised 10 PhD students to completion as of 2009. He received the Drexel Research Achievement award in 1991, and was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1997. He was made full Professor in 1990, and currently also serves as Associate Vice Provost for Research, a half-time appointment.