Sanjeevi Sivasankar

Associate Professor
Biological Systems

A319 Zaffarano Hall
sivasank [at]



  1. 2014-present: Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Iowa State University
  2. 2008-2014: Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Iowa State University



  1. 2001-2008: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Department of Physics, Stanford University
  2. 1995-2001: Ph.D., Biophysics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  3. 1990-1995: B.Sc., M.Sc., Biophysics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India


Legend: +Corresponding author, *equal contribution

  1. Manibog, K., Li, H., Rakshit, S., Sivasankar, S.+, (2014) Resolving the molecular mechanisim of cadherin catch bond formation, Nature Communications, 5, Article number: 3941.
  2. Lowndes, M., Rakshit, S., Shafraz, O., Borghi, N., Harmond, R., Green, K., Sivasankar, S., Nelson, W.J., (2014) Distinguishing roles of different cadherins in the assembly and structural integrity of the desmosome complex, J. Cell Sci., 127, 2339-2350.
  3. Rakshit, S., Sivasankar., S.+, (2014) Biomechanics of cell adhesion: How force regulates the lifetime of adhesive bonds at the single molecule level, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 16, 2211-2223
  4. Sivasankar, S.+, (2013) Tuning the kinetics of cadherin adhesion, J Invest. Dermatol., 133, 2318-2323
  5. Rakshit, S., Zhang, Y.X., Manibog, K., Shafraz, O., Sivasankar., S.+, (2012) Ideal, catch and slip bonds in cadherin adhesion, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109, 18815-18820
  6. Li, H.*, Yen, C.F.*, Sivasankar, S.+, (2012) Fluorescence Axial Localization with Nanometer Accuracy and Precision, Nano Lett., 12, 3731-3735
  7. Leckband, D., Sivasankar, S., (2012) Cadherin recognition and adhesion, Curr. Opin. Cell Biol., 24, 1-8.
  8. Choi, C.L., Li, H., Olson, A.C.K., Jain, P.K., Sivasankar, S.+, Alivisatos, A.P.+, (2011) Spatially indirect emission in a luminescent nanocrystal molecule, Nano Lett., 11, 2358-2362
  9. Li, H., Fowler, N., Struck, C., Sivasankar., S.+, (2011) Flow triggered by instabilities at the contact-line of a drop containing nanoparticles, Soft Matter, 7, 5116-5119
  10. Rakshit, S., and Sivasankar, S.+, (2011) Cross-linking of a charged polysaccharide using polyions as electrostatic staples, Soft Matter, 7, 2348-2351
  11. Choi, C.L., Koski, K.J., Sivasankar, S., Alivisatos, A.P., (2009) Strain-Dependent Photoluminescence Behavior of CdSe/CdS Nanocrystals with Spherical, Linear, and Branched Topologies, Nano Lett., 9, 3544-3549
  12. Sivasankar, S.*+, Zhang, Y.*, Nelson,W.J., and Chu, S.+, (2009) Characterizing the initial encounter complex in cadherin adhesion, Structure, 17, 1-7 (Selected for an editor’s choice preview: Structure, (2011) 1035-1036)
  13. Sivasankar, S.+ and Chu, S., (2009) Nanoparticle mediated non-fluorescent bonding of microspheres to atomic force microscope cantilevers and imaging fluorescence from bonded cantilevers with single molecule sensitivity, Nano Lett., 9, 2120-2124
  14. Zhang, Y.*, Sivasankar, S.*+, Nelson,W.J., and Chu, S.+, (2009) Resolving cadherin interactions and binding cooperativity at the single molecule level, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 106, 109-114
  15. Sivasankar, S., and Chu, S., (2007) Optical bonding using silica nanoparticle sol-gel chemistry, Nano Lett., 7, 3031-3034
  16. Sivasankar, S., Gumbiner, B., and Leckband, D., (2001) Direct measurements of multiple adhesive alignments and unbinding trajectories between cadherin extracellular domains, Biophys. J., 80, 1758-1768
  17. Leckband, D., and Sivasankar, S., (2000) Mechanism of homophilic cadherin adhesion, Curr. Opin. Cell Biol., 12, 587-592 
  18. Leckband, D., and Sivasankar, S., (1999) Forces controlling protein interactions: theory and experiment, Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces,  14, 83-97
  19. Sivasankar, S., Brieher, W., Lavrik, N., Gumbiner, B., and Leckband, D., (1999) Direct molecular force measurements of multiple adhesive interactions between cadherin ectodomains, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 96, 11820-11824
  20. Sivasankar, S., Subramaniam, S., and Leckband, D., (1998) Direct molecular level measurements of the electrostatic properties of a protein surface, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 95, 12961-12966



  1. Leckband, D., Sivasankar, S., (2012) Biophysics of cadherin adhesion, Springer: Sub-cellular Biochemistry, Volume: 60, Pages: 63-88.



  1. Sivasankar, S., and Chu, S., Methods of bonding optical structures, bonding and silylation of optical structures, bonded optical structures, and silylated bonded optical structures, United States Patent 8,123,898.
  2. Choi, C.L., Koski, K.J., Sivasankar, S., Alivisatos, A.P., Systems and Methods of Detecting Force and Stress Using Tetrapod Nanocrystal, United States Patent 8,513,624.
  3. Sivasankar, S., and Li, H., System, apparatus, and method for simultaneous single molecule Atomic Force Microscopy and fluorescence measurements, United States Patent 8,656,510.
  4. Li, H., Yen, C.F., and Sivasankar, S., Fluorescence axial localization with nanometer accuracy and precision, (Patent Pending).