物理系学术报告 Physics Department Colloquium
Chemical Dynamics in Complex Systems: A Challenge in Biophysics
Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
Complex systems are characterized by processes that span multiple time and length scales. The new single-molecule and single-particle spectroscopic methods have enabled us to capture and study molecular and nanoscale processes that have been hitherto elusive. Two examples will be discussed. The first example concerns protein dynamics. Proteins have evolved to harness thermal fluctuations, rather than frustrated by them, to carry out chemical transformations and mechanical work. What are, then, the operation and design principles of protein machines? Using the protein tyrosine phosphatase B, PtpB, from M. tuberculosis (a virulence factor of tuberculosis and a potential drug target) as an example, we show how the high-resolution single-molecule Förster-type resonance energy transfer (FRET) spectroscopy enables us to uncover the operational principles of protein large-amplitude conformational transitions. In the second example, we discuss intra-cellular thermometry, a new direction that could lead to many unexpected discoveries.
Haw Yang attended National Taiwan University, where he was a Yuan Lee Scholar, and received a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry in 1991. After two years of mandatory military service, he attended graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley, where he worked under the supervision of Charles Harris. His Ph.D. thesis concerned the mechanisms and dynamics of photo-induced chemical bond activation by organometallic compounds. In 1999, he went to Harvard University where he worked with Sunney Xie as a postdoctoral research assistant. In 2002, he joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. In 2009, he moved to Princeton University as an Associate Professor of Chemistry. He is an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, has received the CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, the Hellman Family Faculty Award, and the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award. His research concerns molecular reactivity in complex systems, currently focusing on (1) investigating, understanding, and exploiting thermal fluctuations, and (2) deciphering molecular processes in living systems. He is an Associate Editor of Chemical Science and serves on the Advisory Board of Chemical Society Reviews.