Rafayel Petrosyan, PhD

Rafayel Petrosyan joined AUA in the July of 2022 as an Assistant Professor. He did his undergraduate at the Yerevan State University Faculty of Physics and did a two-year master's in Nanobiophysicas at TU Dresden, Biotechnology Center, with a master's project in the lab of Petra Schwille. Then he moved to ETH Zurich for his doctoral studies in the lab of Daniel J. Müller. Before joining AUA, Dr. Petrosyan was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Alberta in the lab of Michael T. Woodside. His research interests are in the area of experimental and theoretical biophysics, protein folding, nonequilibrium statistical mechanics, and applications of novel machine learning algorithms for biophysical experimental data analysis.

Higher Education

2016, Doctor of Sciences
ETH Zürich

2011, Master of Science
TU Dresden

2009, Bachelor of Physics
Yerevan State University

Courses Taught:

  • CSE 112 Mathematical Thinking


  1. M. Cortez, A. J. Morrison, C. R. Garen, S. Patterson, T. Uyesugi, R. Petrosyan, R. V. Sekar, M. J. Harms*, M. T. Woodside*, V. L. Sim*. Probing the origin of prion protein misfolding via reconstruction of ancestral proteins, Protein Sci. (2022) Accepted.
  2. R. Petrosyan, A. Narayan, and M. T. Woodside. Single-molecule force spectroscopy of protein folding, J. Mol. Biol. (2021) 433 (20), 167207.
  3. R. Petrosyan, S. Patra, N. Rezajooei, C. Garen, and M.T. Woodside*. Unfolded and intermediate states of PrP play a key role in the mechanism of action of an antiprion chaperone, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2021) 118 (9), e2010213118.
  4. R. Petrosyan*. Unfolding force definition and the unified model for the mean unfolding force dependence on the loading rate, J. Stat. Mech.: Theory Exp. (2020) (3), 033201.
  5. D.A.N. Foster, R. Petrosyan, A.G.T. Pyo, A. Hoffmann, F. Wang, and M.T. Woodside*. Probing position-dependent diffusion in folding reactions using single-molecule force spectroscopy, Biophys. J. (2018) 114 (7), 1657-1666.
  6. R. Petrosyan*. Improved approximations for some polymer extension models, Rheol. Acta (2017) 56 (1), 21-26.
  7. R. Petrosyan, C.A. Bippes, S. Walheim, D. Harder, D. Fotiadis, T. Schimmel, D. Alsteens, and D.J. Müller*. Single-molecule force spectroscopy of membrane proteins from membranes freely spanning across nanoscopic pores, Nano Lett. (2015) 15 (5), 3624-3633.
  8. E.P. Petrov*, R. Petrosyan, and P. Schwille. Translational and rotational diffusion of micrometer-sized solid domains in lipid membranes, Soft Matter (2012) 8 (29), 7552-7555.

Research database IDs:


Office location: 334W, PAB

Office hours: By appointment