*** We are hiring! ***
1) PhD projects: Several projects are available for students from various backgrounds including physics, chemistry (polymer chemistry, physical chemistry, or biochemistry), and biology (molecular), bioengineering, pharmacology or related subjects.
If you are not admitted to a graduate program at Kent State, yet: Please be aware that at US universities, students need to be accepted to a graduate program, do some courses and pass a “candidacy exams” prior to starting full-time research for their PhD project. Typically, you will also be a teaching assistant in a course or lab during the semester. If your previous degree is not in Physics, you may also check the graduate programs of the "Biomedical Sciences" program, particularly the Cell & Molecular Biology program, or the Material Science Graduate Program.
2) Undergraduate or graduate students for individual investigation, rotation, honor's theses or sophomore research projects. Students do not necessarily have to be Physics majors, and a background in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Computer Science and Molecular Biology is also highly welcome. Students just need to have a broader interest in single-molecule biophysics, molecular biology or biochemistry. Several projects are available depending on the student's backgrounds. Inquire for more information.
3/2023: TLS receives early teanure and will be promoted to asociate professor effective next fall.
2/2023: Sarvinaz is admitted to the BMS graduate program. Congrats!
2/2023: Welcome our latest lab member, Angelina Felicitas Martinez, our new highspeed AFM. She quickly made new friends.
8/2021: We received a major 5-year award from the National Institutes of Health (NIGMS R35) for this project.
8/2022: We received an instrumentation grant for a highspeed Atomic force microscope
3/2021: Our lab recently received an NSF EAGER award for developing our DNA-lipid nanodiscs into tools for single-molecule cryo-EM tools for membrane proteins.
DNA is a unique polymer. It is the information storage molecule of all known life forms, but can also be used to build up complex, artificial structures that are not found in Biology. Our group is leveraging this programmability to engineer nanoscale architectures and tools for applications in Biophysics and Structural Biology. Moreover, we study fundamental mechanical properties of DNA that govern biological processes including transcription, gene regulation and packing in the nucleus.
DNA-Lipid Nanodiscs as Tools for Single-Molecule Cryo-EM of Membrane Proteins
A main focus of our group is to develop molecular tools that allow to study membrane proteins (MPs), which are among the most important, but least understood components of cells. All cells are surrounded by lipid membranes that are almost impermeable for water, salts or nutrients that cells need. For this reason, a large number of membrane protein(MPs) are inserted into the membranes that control cellular functions such as material transport, sensing, intercellular communication, cell adhesion, and energy conversion. MPs are also the targets for many therapeutic drug molecules. Knowledge of the molecular structure of MPs is necessary to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms of their function and can guide the development of therapeutic drugs for many common diseases. However, MPs are difficult to study and therefore the molecular structure of most MPs is still unknown. The goal of this project is to develop broadly applicable new tools using DNA nanotechnology that will facilitate solving MP structures with cryo-electron microscopes. [Nanoscale 2018].
Biophysics of Tightly Bent DNA