• 699 Citations
  • 17 h-Index
1995 …2023

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr. Deb Kelly's research focuses on innovative approaches to study biological systems, ranging from human viruses to cancer. Central to her work is high-resolution imaging, primarily cryo-Electron Microscopy (EM). Invasive breast cancer threatens the lives of women everywhere and there is no precise treatment for the disease. Her team has developed a tunable microchip toolkit to study mutations in the breast cancer susceptibility protein, BRCA1. Using this new tools, the Kelly lab expects to determine strategic insights for the molecular detection and prevention of BRCA1-related cancers. Her team is on the cutting edge of the burgeoning new field they call structural oncology.

Teaching and educational interests

As part of her academic appointment and throughout her career, Dr. Deb Kelly has had the privilege of teaching and training the next generation of physician-scientists. Prior to joining Penn State, she mentored four medical students, four graduate students and numerous undergraduates. Her medical students have published their findings in peer-reviewed journals, contributing to 10 original research articles.

Education/Academic qualification

Cell Biology, Post-doctoral Training, Harvard Medical School

… → 2010

Molecular Biophysics, PhD, Florida State University

… → 2003

External positions

Director of Biological Sciences, Microscopy Society of America

Jan 1 2017 → …

Director of Biological Sciences, Microscopy Society of America

2017 → …

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  • UVA molecular electron microscopy core for the Mid-Atlantic region

    Kelly, D., Zhang, P., Samso, M., Taylor, D. J., Yeager, M., Galkin, V., Melanie Diane, O. & Unger, V.

    National Institutes of Health


    Project: Research project

  • The Southeastern Consortium for Microscopy of MacroMolecular Machines

    Kelly, D., Moiseenkova-Bell, V., Bullitt, E., Liu, J. U. N., Taylor, K. A., Dokland, T., Sindelar, C. V., Schmidt-Krey, I., Melanie Diane, O., Radermacher, M., Jiang, Q. X., Stewart, P., Wright, E., Galkin, V., Zhang, W. E. I. & Liang, B. O.

    National Institutes of Health


    Project: Research project

  • Research Output

    • 699 Citations
    • 17 h-Index
    • 43 Article
    • 3 Chapter
    • 1 Conference article
    • 1 Review article

    Correcting errors in the BRCA1 warning system

    Liang, Y., Dearnaley, W. J., Alden, N. A., Solares, M. J., Gilmore, B. L., Pridham, K. J., Varano, C., Sheng, Z., Alli, E. & Kelly, D., Jan 2019, In : DNA Repair. 73, p. 120-128 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Cryo-EM-On-a-Chip: Custom-Designed Substrates for the 3D Analysis of Macromolecules

    Alden, N. A., Varano, A. C., Dearnaley, W. J., Solares, M. J., Luqiu, W. Y., Liang, Y., Sheng, Z., McDonald, S. M., Damiano, J., McConnell, J., Dukes, M. J. & Kelly, D. F., May 24 2019, In : Small. 15, 21, 1900918.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Cryo-EM Reveals Architectural Diversity in Active Rotavirus Particles

    Hauser, M., Dearnaley, W. J., Varano, A. C., Casasanta, M., McDonald, S. M. & Kelly, D. F., 2019, In : Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal. 17, p. 1178-1183 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Liquid-Cell Electron Tomography of Biological Systems

    Dearnaley, W., Schleupner, B., Varano, C., Alden, N. A., Gonzalez, F., Casasanta, M. A., Scharf, B. E., Dukes, M. J. & Kelly, D., Oct 9 2019, In : Nano letters. 19, 10, p. 6734-6741 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Scopus citations

    Casein Kinase 1 Epsilon Regulates Glioblastoma Cell Survival

    Varghese, R. T., Young, S., Pham, L., Liang, Y., Pridham, K. J., Guo, S., Murphy, S., Kelly, D. F. & Sheng, Z., Dec 1 2018, In : Scientific reports. 8, 1, 13621.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 4 Scopus citations


    Innovator of the Year

    Deb Kelly (Recipient), 2019


    Session Chair

    Deb Kelly (Recipient), 2017

    Prize: Other distinction

    Vice Chair

    Deb Kelly (Recipient), 2019

    Prize: Other distinction