Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Research Zernike (ZIAM) News Seminars

dr. Hannes Neuweiler : One-Nanometer Single-Molecule Spectroscopy of Protein Dynamics and Function

When:Th 22-01-2015 13:00 - 14:00


Proteins are the most important carriers of function in life. As linear chains of amino acids they either remain intrinsically disordered or fold into unique, nanometer-scaled architectures. Proteins fulfil highly diverse functions including structure, transport, biochemical catalysis, signalling and many more. Dynamics is integral part of protein function but represents a major challenge for current biophysics because methods that can detect them are rare. In my research, I develop and apply new optical probes for protein motion based on contact-induced fluorescence quenching and combine them with modern single-molecule microscopy. The approach unveils dynamics at the one-nanometer scale and with nanosecond temporal resolution moving beyond the resolution limits of current near-field methods. Protein engineering is applied to tailor probes and to gain insights into functional mechanisms at the level of individual amino acids. I show how the approach can be used to observe functional dynamics of proteins that are key to human biology, disease and material science. Understanding protein mechanisms at the molecular level will allow improvement and conversion of function, interference with pathological states, and engineering of bio-inspired material.