The Science Seminar Series: April 23, 2009
Imaging dynamic events inside living cells .
Dr. Christine Payne
School of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Georgia Institute of Technology
Place: Powell Hall
Time: 4:00 -5:00pm
Cellular health depends on a countless number of chemical reactions. Recent developments in microscopy, cell biology, materials science, and molecular biology have created a unique opportunity to directly observe chemical reactions as they occur within a living cell. It is now possible to label specific biomolecules with bright fluorescent probes made from naturally fluorescent proteins, synthesized organic molecules, semiconductors, or noble metals. These labeled biomolecules can be excited by lasers with a range of wavelengths and imaged with ultrasensitive cameras and photodiodes. These methods make it possible to understand the chemical reactions essential to biological function by imaging specific proteins or biomolecules directly as they undergo their normal functions within a single cell. Research in the Payne Lab is focused on both understanding intracellular chemical reactions and developing new methods for imaging dynamic events within cells. This seminar will discuss two types of chemical reactions; the enzymatic degradation of lipids and the aggregation of proteins involved in Huntington’s disease, as well as the imaging technology necessary to observe these events within living cells.