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Benjamin J. McFarland Curriculum Vitae
Department of Chemistry
Seattle Pacific University
Seattle, WA 98119-1997
(206) 281-2749


Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Division of Basic Sciences.
Cancer Research Institute postdoctoral fellow, 2001-2003.
Advisor: Roland K. Strong.
Research topic: Structural analysis of innate immunity and receptor-ligand interaction kinetics.

University of Washington, Biomolecular Structure and Design Program, Department of Chemistry.
Ph.D., 1996-2001.
Thesis advisor: Craig C. Beeson.
Research topic: The role of hydrogen bonds in MHC-peptide dissociation kinetics.

University of Florida, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and College of Journalism.
Dual B.S. degree, 1992-1996, with honors in Chemistry, with highest honors in Public Relations, specializing in Technical Communications.


Peterson, M.J., W.K. Snyder, S. Westerman, and B.J. McFarland, 2011, “Preparative protein production from inclusion bodies and crystallization: A seven-week biochemistry sequence.” Journal of Chemical Education, 88 (7), 986–989.


Culpepper, D.J., M.K. Maddox, A.B. Caldwell and B.J. McFarland, 2011, “Systematic mutation and thermodynamic analysis of central tyrosine pairs in polyspecific NKG2D receptor interactions.” Molecular Immunology, 48 (4): 516-523.

Mayer, C.L., W.K. Snyder, M.A. Swietlicka, A.D. VanSchoiack, C.R. Austin and B.J. McFarland, 2009, “Size-exclusion chromatography can identify faster-associating protein complexes and evaluate design strategies.” BMC Res. Notes 2: 135.

Lengyel, C.S.E., L. Willis, P. Mann, T. Kortemme, D. Baker, R.K. Strong, and B.J. McFarland, 2007, “Mutations designed to destabilize the receptor-bound conformation increase MICA-NKG2D association rate and affinity.” J. Biol. Chem. 282 (42): 30658-30666.

 McFarland, B.J., J.F. Katz, A.J. Sant, and C. Beeson, 2005, “Energetics and cooperativity of the hydrogen bonding and anchor interactions that bind peptides to MHC Class II Protein.” J. Mol. Biol. 350 (1): 170-183.

 Strong, R.K., and B.J. McFarland, 2004, “NKG2D and related receptors.” Adv. Prot. Chem. (K.C. Garcia, editor). 68: 281-312.*

McFarland, B.J., and R.K. Strong, 2003, “Thermodynamic analysis of degenerate recognition by the NKG2D immunoreceptor: Not induced fit but rigid adaptation.” Immunity 19: 803-812.

McFarland, B.J., T. Kortemme, D.A. Baker, and R.K. Strong, 2003, “Symmetry recognizing asymmetry: Analysis of the interactions between the C-type lectin-like immunoreceptor NKG2D and MHC class I-like ligands.” Structure 11: 411-422.

McFarland, B.J., and C. Beeson, 2002, “ Binding interactions between peptides and proteins of the class II Major Histocompatibility Complex,” Med. Res. Rev . 22:168-203.

McFarland, B.J., J.F. Katz, C. Beeson, and A.J. Sant, 2001, "Energetic asymmetry among hydrogen bonds in MHC Class II:peptide complexes," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (US) 98: 9231-6.

Sant, A.J., C. Beeson, B. McFarland, J. Cao, S. Ceman, P.W. Bryant, and S. Wu, 1999, “Individual hydrogen bonds play a critical role in MHC Class II:peptide interactions: implications for the dynamic aspects of class II trafficking and DM-mediated peptide exchange ,” Immun. Rev. 172: 239-253.

McFarland, B.J., A.J. Sant, T.P. Lybrand, and C. Beeson, 1999, “Ovalbumin(323-339) peptide binds to the Major Histocompatibility Complex Class II I-A d protein using two functionally distinct registers,” Biochemistry 38: 16663-16670.

McFarland, B.J., A.J. Sant, and C. Beeson, 1999, “Identification of two distinct structural transitions in the dissociation of peptides from Class II proteins of the Major Histocompatibility Complex,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 121: 11225-11226.

McFarland, B.J., C. Beeson, and A.J. Sant, 1999, “Cutting edge: a single, essential hydrogen bond controls the stability of peptide-MHC Class II complexes,” J. Immunol. 163: 3567-3571.

McFarland, B.J., and T.P. Bennett, 1997, "The Image of Edgar Allan Poe: A Daguerreotype Linked to the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia ,” Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phil. 147: 1-32.

Weimer, H.A., B.J. McFarland, S. Li, and W. Weltner, Jr., 1995, “Infrared Observation of 2,3-Didehydrogenated Naphthalene (2,3-Naphthyne) in Inert Gas Matrices at 4K,” J. Phys. Chem. 99: 1824-1825.

(Plus 15 articles for general audiences published in newspapers, newsletters, and trade journals.)


“Using Camtasia Relay to Capture and Share Classroom Content.” Instructional Technology Services seminar delivered with Derek Wood and Chris Henshaw, Seattle Pacific University, June 14, 2011.

“The Sounds of New Creation.” 4th annual lecture in the “Last Lecture” series sponsored by Ivy Honorary, Seattle Pacific University, May 26, 2011.


“Lecture Capture: Turning the Lecture on Its Head.” Lecture led by David Wicks for Faculty Instructional Seminars, Seattle Pacific University Library, December 14, 2010.

“The Chemicals Pour Forth Speech: Teaching Origins with a Biogeochemical Narrative.” July 31-August 2, 2010. American Scientific Affiliation meeting at Catholic University, Washington DC. Session title: “Science Education.” Audio of presentation published online on ASA website, (national conference)

“The Chemical Constraints on Creation: Natural Theology and Narrative Resonance.” Weter Award Lecture, February 2, 2010, Seattle Pacific University.

 “Complementing SPR with SEC in Rational Protein Design.” Invited lecture at PEPTALK Pipeline 4: Higher-Throughput Protein Expression (Characterization, Purification, and Screening), January 13, 2010, Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, CA.

 “What Good is Evolution?: A Biochemical Appreciation of Darwin’s Theory.” Panelist for Exploring Darwin and Evolutionary Theory in the 21st Century: Biological Sciences, November 17, 2009, Seattle Pacific University.

 “Video Ergo Sum.” Invited panelist for College of Arts and Sciences Retreat, September 22, 2009, Seattle Pacific University.

 “Rational enhancement of NKG2D-MICA affinity in the undergraduate laboratory.” June 29, 2009. The 64th Northwest Regional Meeting (NORM) of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA.

“Designing proteins: The creative potential of enthalpy and entropy.” August 1-4, 2008. American Scientific Affiliation meeting at George Fox University, Newberg, OR. Session title: “The Natural Sciences and Issues of Faith.” Audio of presentation published online on ASA website,

“Toys, viruses, and experiments.” Science Alive! session for 10-14-year-olds at Bothell Public Library, July 21, 2008. Involved research group members in a skit/demonstration and organized model-building of viruses out of paper.

“Speed or strength?: The value of affinity, kinetics, and thermodynamics analysis.” Invited panelist for round-table discussion, May 2007 Developments in Protein Interaction Analysis conference (DiPIA 2007) in Phoenix, AZ.

“Thermodynamic and kinetic consequences of design beneath a protein-protein interface.” Invited speaker, January 23, 2007 BIAcore Protein Interaction Analysis Seminar in Vancouver, BC.

“Global threat, global response: biochemical renewal of creation through structure-based drug design.” Day of Common Learning session, October 18, 2006.

“Designing order into the NKG2D-ligand interface changes the thermodynamic parameters of interaction.” Invited main session lecture, August 2005 Developments in Protein Interaction Analysis conference (DiPIA 2005) in Philadelphia, PA. Session title: “Immune Recognition and Immunogenicity.”

“The Role of Conformational Flexibility and Energetic ‘Hot Spots' in the Interaction of the NKG2D Immunoreceptor with its Ligands.” Lecture, June 2002 7th Annual Northwest Crystallography Workshop, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

“The MHC II mystery revealed: How to bind thousands of different peptides with sub-nanomolar affinities.” Lecture, February 2001 Volcano Conference, Pack Forest, WA.

“Individual hydrogen bonds play a critical role in MHC Class II: peptide interactions: Implications for the dynamic aspects of Class II:peptide interactions and DM-mediated peptide exchange.” Poster, May 2000 AAI national meeting, Seattle, WA.

“Disparate apparent strengths for structurally equivalent hydrogen bonds in a peptide-MHC complex.” Poster, Spring 2000 ACS national meeting, San Francisco, CA.

“Two distinct structural transitions in peptide dissociation from MHC Class II proteins.” Poster, Spring 1999 FASEB Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; San Francisco, CA.

“The structural basis for kinetic stability of peptides ... .” Lecture, 53rd ACS Northwest Regional Meeting (NORM '98); Pasco, WA.