Visualizing Biological Molecules: Understanding Life’s Principles
with Eva Nogales
Saturday January 20, 2018 at 11:00 AM
100 Genetics & Plant Biology, UC Berkeley
Assemblies of biological macromolecules (proteins, DNA, RNA) are the functional units of cells and ultimately the whole organism. Visualizing these macromolecules, in different functional states, provides unique information on how they work and how they fail in the diseased state, and therefore can guide us in the design and improvement of therapies. But their extremely small size makes visualization of biological molecules challenging and requires highly specialized instruments and computational tools.
Technological developments in the field of electron microscopy are now allowing the fast turnaround of structural information on critical cellular components. Professor Nogales will talk about what we have learned through the visualization, at atomic resolution, using electron microscopy, of a critical cytoskeletal system that is essential for cell division and a major anticancer target.
Eva Nogales received her bachelor’s degree in physics from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in Spain. She did her graduate work at the Synchrotron Radiation Source and earned her doctorate in biophysics from the University of Keele in England. She came to the United States for postdoctoral work at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1993 and she worked with Kenneth H. Downing on the structure determination of tubulin by electron crystallography. She joined the University of California, Berkeley faculty in 1998 and is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator since 2000. Nogales is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.