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MolES Seminar: Dr. Taekjip Ha (Johns Hopkins University, Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
MolES Seminar: Dr. Taekjip Ha (Johns Hopkins University, Howard Hughes Medical Institute)
WhenMonday, Feb 12, 2018, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Campus locationMolecular Engineering (MOL)
Campus roomNanoES 181
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsMolecular Engineering and Sciences

Revisiting and Repurposing the Double Helix
Abstract: DNA is an iconic molecule that forms a double helical structure, providing the basis for genetic inheritance, and its physical properties have been studied for decades. In this talk, I will present evidence that sequence and methylation dependent physical properties of DNA such as flexibility and self-association may be important for biological functions. In addition, I will present a new application of DNA where mechanical modulations of cell behavior can be studied at the single molecule level using rupturable DNA tethers. We found that cells can change their behavior dramatically in response to just two molecules strongly tugging on them.

Bio: Dr. Taekjip Ha is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He is also an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He uses sophisticated physical techniques to manipulate and visualize the movements of single molecules to understand basic biological processes involving DNA and other molecules.  His research pushes the limits of single-molecule detection methods to study protein–nucleic acid and protein-protein complexes and the mechanical regulation of their functions.
Dr. Ha received his undergraduate degree in Physics from Seoul National University in 1990 and Physics Ph.D from University of California at Berkeley in 1996. After postdoctoral training at Stanford University, he was a Physics professor at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign until 2015.
Dr. Ha is a member of Editorial Boards for Science, Cell, eLife, PRX, Structure, Nucleic Acids Research and Physical Biology. He is a member of the National Academy of Science and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received the 2011 HoAm Prize in Science.

Molecular Engineering and Sciences Seminar Series

This weekly seminar brings together students, faculty and invited guests from various disciplines across campus to explore current trends in molecular engineering and nanotechnology. It is a forum for active interdisciplinary discussions. These talks are open to the public and attract a diverse audience of students and faculty.

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