Donald Gray

Donald Gray

Professor Emeritus - Biological Sciences
FO 3.210
Tags: Biology

Professional Preparation

NIH Postdoctoral Fellow - Chemistry
UC Berkeley - 1970
Ph.D. - Molecular Biophysics
Yale University - 1967
M.S. - Molecular Biophysics
Yale University - 1963
B.A. - Math, Physics, Chemistry
Susquehanna University - 1960

Research Areas

Donald M. Gray

            Our research involves the study of protein and nucleic acid structures by circular dichroism spectroscopy and other biochemical techniques. In the case of proteins, our work focuses on the single-stranded nucleic-acid binding proteins, especially the human replication protein A, as well as a simpler protein encoded by the filamentous Ff bacterial virus. We are studying the binding of these proteins to different DNA sequences. This work has fundamental importance in understanding how proteins bind to and control the expression of the DNA genome.

            One new direction of our work has been to use novel quadruplex (four-stranded) DNAs as ligands for protein binding, since such DNAs have been identified as having special functions within the human genome.

            A second new direction of research, in collaboration with Dr. T. Xia of our department, has been to study the ultra-fast fluorescence decay components of a fluorescent DNA nucleotide when it is sequestered in different binding pockets of a single-stranded DNA binding protein. The results should lead to a better understanding of the DNA binding preferences and functions of this type of protein.


H.-N. Nguyen, L. Zhao, C. W. Gray, D. M. Gray, and T. Xia. 2013. Nucleotides sequestered at different subsite loci within DNA-binding pockets of two OB-fold single-stranded DNA-binding proteins are unstacked to different extents. Biopolymers 99: 484-496. 2013 - Publication
D. M. Gray. 2012. Circular dichroism of protein-nucleic acid interactions. In: "Comprehensive Chiroptical Spectroscopy," Vol. 2 (Eds. N. Berova, P. L. Polavarapu, K. Nakanishi, and R. W. Woody) John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ. 2012 - Publication
H.-N. Nguyen, L. Zhao, C. W. Gray, D. M. Gray, and T. Xia. 2011. Ultrafast fluorescence decay profiles reveal differential unstacking of 2-aminopurine from neighboring bases in single-stranded DNA-binding protein subsites. Biochemistry 50:8989-9001. 2011 - Publication
D. M. Gray, C. W. Gray, B.-H. Yoo, and T.-F. Lou. 2010. Antisense DNA parameters derived from next-nearest-neighbor analysis of experimental data. BMC Bioinformatics 11:252. 2010 - Publication
Fan, J.-H., E. Bochkareva, A. Bochkarev, & D.M. Gray. Circular dichroism spectra and electrophoretic mobility shift assays show that human replication protein A binds and melts intramolecular G-quadruplex structures. Biochemistry 48:1099-1111 (2009). 2009 - Publication
Gray, D.M., J.-D. Wen, C.W. Gray, R. Repges, C. Repges, G. Raabe, & J. Fleischhauer Measured and calculated CD spectra of G-quartets stacked with the same or opposite polarities. Chirality 20:431-440 (2008). 2008 - Publication
Mou, T.-C, M. Shen, S. Abdalla, D. Delamore, E. Bochkareva, A. Bochkarev, & D.M, Gray. Effects of ssDNA sequences on non-specific protein binding. Chirality 18:370-382 (2006). 2006 - Publication
Wen, J.-D., & D.M. Gray. Ff gene 5 single-stranded DNA-binding protein assembles on nucleotides constrained by a DNA hairpin. Biochemistry 43:2622-2634 (2004). 2004 - Publication


University of Texas at Dallas [2004–2007]
University of Texas at Dallas [1989–1995]
University of Texas at Dallas [1983–Present]
Associate Professor
University of Texas at Dallas [1976–1983]
Associate Professor
University of Texas at Dallas [1970–1976]


Synergistic Activities

1. The PI has been with UT-Dallas since its founding as a campus of the University of Texas System and for over three decades has helped develop both graduate and undergraduate programs. 
2. As Program Head of the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology from 1989-1995, the PI led the expansion of the biology undergraduate curriculum into a full 4-year program, the largest in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Again as Program Head from 2004-2007, he promoted development of an interdisciplinary MS in Biotechnology degree program and its laboratory facilities. The laboratory facilities were also required as a venue for an NIH-sponsored Summer Institute Program to Increase Diversity (SIPID) in Health-Related Research that the department's Sickle Cell Disease Research Center oversees every summer.