Creating Biomedical Technologies to Improve Health

2017 BESIP Project

Laboratory of Single-Molecule Biophysics
Mentor Name: 
Keir C. Neuman, Ph.D.
Mentor Email: 
Mentor Telephone: 

Laboratory and Project Description

The Laboratory of Single-Molecule Biophysics focuses on developing single-molecule instrumentation and methodology to make detailed, high-resolution, measurements of biological processes. Ongoing projects include single-molecule measurements of DNA topology and topoisomerases, DNA unwinding by RecQ helicases, and processing of collagen by collagenases (Matrix metalloproteinases). We employ single-molecule fluorescence and single-molecule manipulation (magnetic tweezers and optical tweezers) in addition to conventional biochemical approaches to develop detailed mechanistic understanding of these biological processes. We are also developing fluorescent nanodiamonds for novel imaging and manipulation approaches, developing combined single-molecule manipulation and visualization instrumentation, and increasing the speed, sensitivity, and through-put of the magnetic tweezers instrumentation. Interns will have the opportunity to acquire skills in instrument construction, biomolecule functionalization, single-molecule manipulation, in addition to biochemical and molecular biological approaches. Projects available to summer 2015 BESIP interns include the following:
  • Development of fluorescent nanodiamonds for biological imaging, tracking, and sensing applications
  • Single-molecule measurements of the effects of DNA damage on DNA topology
  • Single-molecule measurements of DNA helicase activity using magnetic tweezers and/or single-molecule fluorescence tracking and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) techniques
  • Instrument and software design for single-molecule tracking and imaging applications