TCBG Seminar

Single Molecule and Super-Resolution of Biomolecules and Cells

Professor Xiaowei Zhuang
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

Thursday, December 6, 2007
4:00 pm (CT)
141 Loomis Laboratory of Physics


As biology gets increasingly quantitative, a comprehensive understanding of biological processes at the molecular level is becoming more readily accessible. However, roadblocks still exist, among which is the challenge that we face in characterizing the complex dynamics of biological processes. To tackle this problem, my research group is exploring optical imaging techniques to monitor, in real-time, the behavior of individual biological molecules and molecular complexes, both in vitro and in live cells. This approach allows complex dynamics to be directly observed, allowing us to we create “molecular movies” and to obtain mechanistic understandings of biological processes. Our research program has three major thrusts: (1) to understand how biomolecules function, especially how proteins and nucleic acids interact, using single-molecule approaches; (2) to develop live-cell imaging techniques and to investigate intracellular trafficking and virus-cell interactions using live-cell imaging; (3) to develop super-resolution optical imaging methods that allow imaging of cells and tissues with molecular-scale resolution. In this seminar, I will primary focus on the latter two areas.

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