James Hurley, Ph.D.

James Hurley, Ph.D.

Jim Hurley is the Judy C. Webb Chair and professor of biochemistry, biophysics and structural biology at the University of California at Berkeley. He is a leader in determining the structure of autophagy core complexes using crystallography, mass spectrometry and cryo-electron microscopy, and in understanding their mechanisms of membrane remodeling and regulation.

Prior to entering academia, Jim worked as an investigator at the National Institutes of Health, where his group focused on structural mechanisms of endosomal and lysosomal transport, including autophagy. At NIH, Jim’s lab determined the structures of the ESCRT complexes of endosomal sorting, the first structures of the receptors for ubiquitin and the lipid PI3P, vesicular coat and small G-protein regulatory complexes of the trans-Golgi network and endosomes, cholesterol transporters involved in lipid sorting and the first structures of phosphoinositide lipid modifying enzymes. Jim moved to UC Berkeley in 2013, where he has concentrated on structural studies of the human ULK1 and PI 3-kinase autophagy initiating complexes. Jim won the 2014 Hans Neurath Award from the Protein Society for his work on vesicle coat complexes and a Bakar Fellows Award for work on autophagy.

Jim trained in structural biology with Robert Stroud at the University of California, San Francisco, where he completed a Ph.D. in biophysics in 1990. He also trained with Brian Matthews at the University of Oregon, where he was a postdoctoral fellow from 1990 to 1992.