The Department of Chemistry and Physics continues its Spring Seminar series from 3-4 p.m. on Friday, March 31, in Grote Hall Room 411.
The featured speaker is Dr. Michael Kienzler, a member of the University of Connecticut Department of Chemistry. The topic: Small Molecule Photoswitches To Remotely Control Protein Function.
Cells are able to communicate and interact with their environment through receptors and ion channels on their surface. In this talk I will describe a chemical technique that relies on custom-designed, light-sensitive, small molecules that can be used to control the functions of select proteins on the surface of a cell. These small molecules, called photoswitches because they can effectively turn a protein “on” and “off” using light, allow experiments with precise targeting in both space and time. In addition to their biological applications, I will also describe the synthetic organic and photochemical characterization of these molecular tools.