Puchner lab: Cellular and Molecular Biophysics

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Quantifying the interactions and dynamics of cellular signaling proteins using fluorescent photo-switchable probes and Super-resolution (SR) microscopy. 

Our goal is to investigate and characterize the biophysical principles of cellular signaling networks by connecting the behavior of single molecules and their complexes to the biological response of the entire cell.  We approach this problem with a wide range of techniques – synthetic biology, genetic engineering, and molecular biology – but our specialty is quantitative single molecule super-resolution microscopy.  This integrative approach allows us to precisely decipher the spatial organization and dynamics of biomolecules within cells below the optical diffraction limit, while simultaneously measuring the cell’s signaling activity.

Scientific mentoring and outreach is another priority within our lab.  We integrate our research into mentoring by hosting undergraduate students and teachers participating in the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) and Research Experience for Teachers (RET) programs. Through our work with these rookie researchers, we hope to foster a fascination for modern research at the intersection of physics and biology in the next generation of scientists.