Pittsburgh, PA 15260
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Analytical, Biophysical, and Physical Chemistry
We develop pulsed electron spin resonance methods and their application to otherwise inaccessible problems in biophysics and materials sciences. The coupling of electron spin angular momentum to its environment—as revealed by the ESR spectrum—provides rich information about the electronic, structural and dynamical properties of the molecule. We create methods that measure the precise distance between two units in a protein, in order to determine their folding patterns and conformational dynamics. These ESR Spectroscopic Rulers— based on multiple quantum coherences and double resonance experiments—are unique in that they resolve distances in the 1 - 7 nm lengthscale even on bulk amorphous materials. Much of this work is based on the use of first-principles theory to develop new experimental protocols and to analyze experimental results.
Our group continues to develop applications of these spectroscopic rulers that range from capturing the essence of structural changes - such as misfolding - in proteins, to measuring the atomic-level details of ion-permeation in a ligand gated ion-channel. We invite you to visit our group website and to contact us to explore the diversity of research projects currently underway in our group.
- Pulsed ESR methods to measure distance constraints in systems containing paramagnetic metals
- Measurement of structural and dynamical determinants of the protein-DNA interactions and functional dynamics in pentameric ligand gated ion-channels.
- Application of the spectroscopic ruler to measure and predict global structures of nanostructured materials.
- Role of metals in aggregation of Amyloid-b peptide.
- Crano Memorial Lecture, ACS-Akron Section, 2014
- Arts and Sciences Tina and David Bellet Teaching Excellence Award, 2012
- NSF CAREER Award, 2004-2009