University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Colloquium

Wednesday, November 28th 2012
3:35 pm:
Speaker: Michelle Wang, Cornell
Subject: Single Molecule Biophysics with a Twist
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics after colloquium

Abstract:
The cell nucleus is highly dynamic in nature. A myriad of motor proteins translocate along, and rotate around, DNA as they carry out a range of activities. Torque introduced by motor proteins is an essential regulatory factor in biology; however direct measurements of torque have proven to be challenging. To meet this challenge, we have developed an angular optical trapping (AOT) instrument that permits direct and simultaneous measurements of force and torque at the single molecule level. I will discuss our recent efforts in using the AOT to directly measure the torques involved in gene expression and regulation.

About Michelle Wang:
Michelle Wang is a Professor of Physics at Cornell, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, and the leader of a Single Molecule Biophysics Lab. She is a recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow Award, a Beckman Young Investigator Award, Damon Runyon Scholar Award, and Keck Foundation Distinguished Young Scholar in Medical Research Award. She received her B.S. in physics from Nanjing University and her Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

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