Capturing Real-Time Structural Snapshots of Functional Biomolecules and Materials

Using state-of-the-art vibrational spectroscopic tools developed by great minds across the world, we have obtained unprecedented precision both in the spatial and temporal domain to tackle one of the most intriguing questions in life sciences: how do biomolecules functionalize? As a bottom-up approach for future bioengineering advances and biomedicine breakthroughs, ultrafast laser spectroscopy will enable us to get down to the time regime where intrinsic molecular motions & conformational dynamics are dominant and functional, to unveil the magic from bioluminescence to protein folding to drug potency, and to appreciate the fundamental physics and chemistry principles in play. After we ventured into material sciences and uncovered the mechanism for aluminum (Al) speciation in water, we investigated hybrid perovskites and novel water-in-salt electrolytes for battery systems. Recent highlights for bio-related publications include a GFP-chromophore-derived bright fluorogen, an engineered cyanobacteriochrome that accepts mammalian-compatible biliverdin, and a novel green-red emission ratiometric fluorescent-protein-based Ca2+ biosensor.

From left: (front row) Dr. Liangdong Zhu, Dr. Cheng Chen, Sean Tachibana, Dr. Chong Fang, Jiawei Liu, Dr. Longteng Tang, (2nd and 3rd rows) Sully Bailey-Darland, Taylor Krueger, Jesse Kuan, Blaze Rightnowar, Janak Dunn-Wall, Logan Lancaster, and Seth Johnson (July 2021). Not pictured: Sean Boulanger. Inside Linus Pauling Science Center. Check more...

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