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Research

Our lab develops new methodology for studying protein, RNA, and small-molecule function in the live cell context. Whereas traditional biochemistry studies biomolecules in purified form in vitro, we seek to understand them in their native context, namely the complex environment of the cell surface and cell interior. To achieve this, our lab develops non-invasive methodologies and “reporters” for reading out information about specific biomolecules and biochemical events from single living cells. Our methods draw from the tools and techniques of many different disciplines, including synthetic chemistry, biophysics, microscopy, enzyme engineering, cell biology, and neuroscience. Five selected project areas are described below.

 

   Selected Project Areas:

       Site-specific protein labeling in cells
       Single-molecule imaging and fluorophore design
       Reporters of protein-protein interactions
       Studies of synapse formation and plasticity
       In vitro and cell-based evolution of novel protein function