Chemistry Seminar: "Watching Signal Transduction in Living Cells, One Molecule at a Time"

Lexy von Diezmann ('11) received her BA from Reed College in Chemistry and her PhD in Chemical Physics from Stanford University. At Stanford, she worked with Prof. W. E. Moerner (Chemistry) to develop single-molecule microscopes and imaging methods, applying these techniques in collaboration with Prof. Lucy Shapiro (Developmental Biology) to study asymmetric cell division in the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus. She was appointed as the inaugural Fellow of the Center for Cell and Genome Sciences at the University of Utah in July 2018. Her current work with Prof. Ofer Rog and Prof. Erik Jorgensen in the School of Biological Sciences at UU applies single-molecule methods to understand the mechanism of DNA repair pathway selection in the nematode C. elegans.

"Watching Signal Transduction in Living Cells, One Molecule at a Time"

By imaging and computationally localizing individual fluorescent molecules within a sample, their positions can be localized with precisions an order of magnitude or better than the optical diffraction limit of visible light. Single-molecule microscopes that use this principle allow the visualization of nanoscale structures and dynamics within living cells. I will detail the optical and photophysical design principles of such microscopes, including their extension to three-dimensional localization using Fourier optics. I will then describe the application of 3D single-molecule tracking to study the dynamics of signaling molecules in a bacterial model system. In this work, we show that cellular asymmetry is enforced in part by the sequestration of a signaling network to a ~150 nm proteinaceous microdomain at the cell poles. Finally, I will discuss my ongoing research extending these methods to live animal tissue in order to study the DNA repair mechanisms that underlie the progression of meiosis.

Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 4:15pm to 5:00pm

Biology, 19
3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199

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Faculty, Students, Alumni, Open to the Public, Staff

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