4 Science Drive 2
Speaker: Michael Mayer
Affiliation: University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Host: Assistant Professor Slaven Garaj
Location: Click HERE for directions
Abstract Details: This talk will give a short overview of the research activities in the Biophysics Group in the Adolphe Merkle Institute of the University of Fribourg in Switzerland and then describe the use of electrolyte-filled synthetic nanopores with self-assembled lipid membrane coatings to determine, simultaneously and in real time, the shape, volume, charge, dipole moment, and rotational diffusion coefficient of individual proteins and protein complexes in solution. The talk introduces the main concepts for a quantitative understanding and analysis of modulations in ionic current that arise from rotational dynamics of single proteins as they move through the electric field inside a nanopore. The resulting multi-parametric information raises the possibility to characterize, identify, and count individual proteins and protein complexes in a mixture with implications for protein folding studies, biomarker detection, routine protein analysis, and characterization of protein amyloids that are involved in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
About the Speaker: Michael Mayer studied Biotechnology at the University in Braunschweig, Germany. He conducted his Ph.D. thesis in Physical Chemistry under the guidance of Prof. Horst Vogel at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, followed by postdoctoral research in Biological Chemistry in the group of Prof. George M. Whitesides at Harvard University, Cambridge, USA. In 2004, he started a tenure-track faculty position in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. In fall of 2015, he moved his research group to the Adolphe Merkle Institute at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland where he holds the chair of Biophysics. His research takes inspiration from nature to solve problems in biophysics ranging from understanding signaling and transport processes in biological membranes and detecting protein complexes relevant for neurodegenerative diseases to engineering biocompatible electrical power sources.