“Why Are Protein and DNA Electron Transfer So Different?”

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017 | 12:30 - 1:30 PM Add to Calendar

The Center for Theoretical Biological Physics PRESENTS Seminar Speaker

David N. Beratan
R.J. Reynolds Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Biochemistry & Physics
Duke University

“Why Are Protein and DNA Electron Transfer So Different?”

Tuesday, November 21, 2017
12:30 – 1:30 PM
BRC, 10th Floor, Room 1060 A/B

Abstract: Photosynthesis, redox signaling, and genome repair all demand the vectorial flow of electrons on the nanometer scale, through soft, wet, fluctuating matter. As such, biology encounters the essential quantum nature of matter in these critical reactions. The aim of my presentation is to describe why protein electron transfer is relatively well understood, while DNA electron transfer reactions continue to generate surprises and controversies. As well, I will describe recent progress toward understanding how vibrational excitation may be used to manipulate electron-transport reactions and how Dexter energy transfer (the coherent transfer of both an electron and a hole) might be used to diagnose distances and chemical structure at the nanoscale.

Research Interests: Dr. Beratan is developing theoretical approaches to understand the function of complex molecular and macromolecular systems, including: the molecular underpinnings of energy harvesting and charge transport in biology; the mechanism of solar energy capture and conversion in man-made structures; the nature of charge conductivity in naturally occurring nucleic acids and in synthetic constructs, including the photochemical repair of damaged DNA in extremophiles; CH bond activation by copper oxygenase enzymes; the flow of charge in bacterial appendages on the micrometer length scale; the theoretical foundations for inverse molecular design – the property driven discovery of chemical structures with optimal properties; the exploitation of molecular diversity in the mapping of molecular and materials “space”; the use of infra-red excitation to manipulate electron transport through molecules; the optical signatures of molecular chirality and the influence of chirality on charge transport. Prof. Beratan is affiliated with the Departments of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, as well as Duke’s programs in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Structural Biology and Biophysics, Nanosciences, and Phononics.

An Official Seminar of the Ph.D. Program in Systems, Synthetic and Physical Biology at Rice University

For more information, visit: https://events.rice.edu/#!view/event/event_id/1033


BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC), 10th Floor, Room 1060 A/B

6500 Main St, Houston, TX 77030


Lisa Bennett