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Alice Ting

Alice Ting

Thu, Feb. 6, 2020, 4:30pm
Edward C Taylor Auditorium, Frick B02
Host: Ralph Kleiner

Optogenetic and chemogenetic technologies for probing molecular and cellular interactions

Spatial compartmentation underlies all cellular signaling, but existing methods to study the subcellular organization of endogenous proteins and RNA – by imaging and biochemical fractionation for example – have important limitations. We developed an alternative approach, enzyme-catalyzed proximity labeling, for the high-resolution spatial mapping of subcellular proteomes and transcriptomes in living cells. I will describe the development of this approach, which includes enzyme directed evolution, and its application to some new mitochondrial biology.

In the second part of the talk, I will describe synthetic protease-based optogenetic circuits that convert transient molecular events into stable cellular signals. I will give an example of how these tools can be used to access and study specific neuronal subpopulations that are activated during particular animal behaviors.