World Cafe Live
3025 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania
“Designing Light-Responsive Molecules for Biomedical Applications”
Over the past 200 years–since the first synthesis of urea by Wöhler (in 1828)–chemists have synthesized a wide variety of molecules, many with biological significance. Today, my laboratory designs multi-functional molecules, with specially tailored physical and biological properties. This work is very similar in concept to architecture, but at the molecular scale. Our work has focused on developing light-activated small- and large molecules that make it possible to address several long-standing problems in Biology and Biomedicine. In this talk I will highlight our efforts at an exciting frontier in molecular pharmacology–the identification of a functionally relevant protein target of general anesthetics. I will also highlight our efforts to advance the field of transcriptomics by designing light-activated probes to elucidate how RNA populations vary between different cells in living tissue.