Harnessing Chemoselective and Biocompatible Reactivity for Developing New Functional Materials and Biological Probes

The development of novel chemical reactions that achieve both high chemoselectivity and biocompatibility provide a foundation for the synthesis and application of new functional materials and biological probes. This presentation will provide two representative examples of this generalizable approach applied to systems spanning the biomolecule to cellular level.

Sensing a pattern: chemical dissection of glycan function

Abstract: Carbohydrates are incredibly diverse biomolecules that facilitate communication between cells and between organisms. Nevertheless, much remains unknown about the exact molecular determinants and mechanisms of these glycan-mediated processes. In this talk, I will use two examples to illustrate how the development and utilization of chemical methods can broadly improve our understanding of carbohydrate function.

Revealing the Hidden World of Metals in Biology

Abstract: Metals are required for life, and microbes have evolved a number of small molecules to compete for, acquire, and utilize metals. Metal-binding compounds are important in a number of fields – these compounds can alter the growth of the microbial communities, enhance plant yields, control harmful pathogens, deliver metals in diseases of deficiencies, or can be used for bioremediation. Systematic methods for the discovery of metal-small molecule complexes from biological samples remain limited.

Modulation of the MALT1 pre-mRNA structure by hnRNP proteins regulates T cell activation

Abstract: Alternative splicing is controlled by differential binding of trans-acting RNA binding proteins (RBPs) to cis-regulatory pre-mRNA elements. How pre-mRNA secondary structure affects recognition by RBPs and determines alternative exon usage is poorly understood. The MALT1 paracaspase is a key component of signaling pathways that mediate innate and adaptive immune responses. Alternative splicing of MALT1 exon7 is critical for controlling optimal T cell activation.


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