Friday, November 15, 2013
William Shih, Associate Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School
My laboratory is developing self-assembling DNA nanostructures and devices for use in biomedical applications. Our group previously solved a key challenge for nanotechnology: programmable self-assembly of complex, three-dimensional nanostructures. Our solution was to build custom three-dimensional structures that can be conceived as stacks of nearly flat layers of DNA. The lecture will discuss applications of this technology for molecular biophysics illustrated by its use to make weak-alignment media for NMR structure determination of membrane proteins; to build 3-D scaffolds for determining the number of "SNARE" complexes necessary to fuse lipid-bilayers, and to study how the shape and size of DNA nanoparticles affects their rates of cellular internalization. The lecture will further discuss applications of the technology for medical therapeutics.