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GEN’s editor in chief, John Sterling, interviews life science academic and biotech industry leaders on important research, technology, and trends. These podcasts will keep you informed with all the important details you need.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created a novel technique for studying protein dynamics in living cells. Evidence yielded from the new approach indicates that an in vivo environment strongly modulates a protein’s stability and folding rate, according to the scientists. During this week’s podcast Dr. Martin Gruebele talks about how the method that he and his team of co-researchers engineered marks the first time that anyone has been able to follow the real-time folding and unfolding of proteins outside of a test tube. He refers to the development of a hybrid technique called “Fast Relaxation Imaging,” which combines fluorescence microscopy and fast temperature jumps. It was used to study the bimolecular dynamics inside a single living cell. Since bimolecular dynamics are predominantly studied in vitro, with the results extrapolated to explain how the same processes would function in a living cell, Dr. Gruebele explains how the new technique has yielded data that could change some standard thinking in the field of molecular biology. He also discusses the application of Fast Relaxation Imaging to the study of neurological disorders that cause dementia such as Alzheimer, Huntington, and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease.

Dr. Martin Gruebele received his B.S. degree in 1984 and his Ph.D. in 1988 from the University of California at Berkeley. After working as a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology, he joined the faculty of the University of Illinois in 1992. Dr. Gruebele is also a faculty member of the Beckman Institute.


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