(08-0306) Prof. Dirk Trauner, UC Berkeley

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  • Date/Time:
    • Thursday March 6, 2008
      2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  • Location: G011 MS&E Bldg
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Shirley Tomes
Chemistry & Biochemistry
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Summary Sentence: Prof. Dirk Trauner, UC Berkeley

Full Summary: Prof. Dirk Trauner, University of California, Berkeley Synthetic neurobiology

Prof. Dirk Trauner, University of California, Berkeley

Synthetic neurobiology

Marcelin Berthelot once famously stated that "chemistry creates its own object" distinguishing it from other fields, which are confined to studying existing phenomena. This amazing ability to synthesize new objects and systems, and then study their novel properties, however, is no longer confided to chemistry but can be applied to biology as well. For instance, neural systems with completely new functional properties can be created by synthetically modifying the basic switches of neurons, such as ion channels or G-protein coupled receptors. Using the techniques of chemical synthesis and modern protein engineering, we have indeed been able to manipulate some of these key molecular modules, e.g. potassium channels, ionotropic glutamate receptors, and more recently, metabotropic glutamate receptors. By adding a synthetic photoswitch to engineered versions of these transmembrane proteins, we have rendered them light-sensitive. Our devices have found various biological applications, for instance in the study of neural networks or in an attempt to create an artificial vision process. Their effect on complex systems, such as rat brain slices, leeches or zebra fish, will be demonstrated.

For more information contact Dr. Wendy Kelly (404-385-1154).

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  • Created By: Shirley Tomes
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Apr 22, 2007 - 8:00pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 9:57pm