Dr. Makowski received his Bachelor’s of Science at Brown University in Physics, and Master’s and Ph.D. at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Electrical Engineering. After doing postdoctoral research at Brandeis University in Structural Biology, he joined faculty of the College of Physician and Surgeons at Columbia University in the Biochemistry Department. He moved to Boston University as Professor of Physics in 1988 and 5 years later accepted a position as Director of the Institute of Molecular Biophysics at Florida State University. In 1998 he joined the National Science Foundation where he was a Program Director first in the Biology Directorate and then in the Division of Materials Science. From summer of 2000 until mid 2007 he was Director of the Bioscience Division at Argonne National Laboratory. He subsequently became Senior Scientist in the Division and in the fall of 2010 moved to Northeastern where he has an interdisciplinary faculty position in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Chemistry and Chemical Biology. He is author of over 100 scientific research papers and review articles on the structure and assembly of macromolecular complexes and innovative processing of biophysical data. His teaching reflects his view that are no meaningful intellectual boundaries between disciplines.
His research focus in on the development and use of innovative biophysical methods for the study of complex biomolecular systems. His current research interests include use of x-ray solution scattering and neutron spin-echo spectroscopy for the study of proteins in solution including characterization of protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions and structural fluctuations; the use of coherent diffraction imaging for the study of crystalline fibrils in complex biological tissues, with particular emphasis of cellulose in plant cell walls.