Wesleyan hosted the 13th Annual Molecular Biophysics and Biological Chemistry Retreat Sept. 27 at Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown. Bertrand Garcia-Moreno, professor and chair of the Department of Physics at Johns Hopkins University delivered the keynote address on “Molecular Determinants of Electrostatic Effects in Proteins.” García-Moreno investigates the relationships between protein structure, function, energetics, and dynamics with an emphasis on electrostatic properties that govern the actions of proteins in all biological processes.
Graduate student Claire Fournier presented her research on “Identification of translation initiation at downstream start codons: strategies for testing MS/MS search algorithms.” Fournier’s advisors are Michael Weir, director of Hughes Program in the Life Sciences, professor of biology; and Danny Krizanc, associate professor of environmental studies, professor of computer science.
Andras Sagi ’14 presented his research on ” Determination of the structural locations of binding of selected ligands on the 22 mer telomeric quadruplex structure via a fluorescence-visualized hydroxyl radical footprinting assay.” Sagi’s advisor is Philip Bolton, professor of chemistry.
Graduate student Fernando Vargas-Lara presented his research on “Internal Structure of Nanoparticle Dimers Linked by DNA.” Vargas-Lara’s advisor is Francis Starr, associate professor of physics.
Graduate student Qi Zhang presented his research on “Obtaining an X-ray Crystal Structure of the Functionally Relevant, Signal Peptide-Bound SecA Chimera.” Zhang’s advisor is Don Oliver, Daniel Ayres professor of biology, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry.
Graduate student Roderick Coffey presented their research on “Synthesis, Characterization and Analysis of Mechanically Interlocked Polymers.” Coffey’s advisor is Brian Northrop, assistant professor of chemistry.
Laura Nocka ’13 presented her research on “Structure and Function of Holliday Junctions Complexed with Ions and HU Protein.” Nocka’s advisors are Ishita Mukerji, dean of natural sciences and mathematics, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, and David Beveridge, Joshua Boger University professor of the sciences and mathematics, professor of chemistry.
Several Wesleyan faculty attended the retreat and spoke to students about their on-going research.
The event was sponsored by the Molecular Biophysics Program and the Departments of Chemistry and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. (Photos by Olivia Drake)