Karimi Shares Enzyme Research during Graduate Speaker Series

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Neuroscience and biology BA/MA graduate student Helen Karimi presented a Graduate Speaker Series talk on Nov. 1.

On Nov. 1, neuroscience and biology BA/MA graduate student Helen Karimi presented a Graduate Speaker Series talk titled “All good things come in pairs: Uncovering the activity of BcnI through co-localization microscopy.”

Karimi’s talk focused on restriction endonucleases (REases), a large family of enzymes that make sequence-specific cuts in DNA. As her abstract details, type IIP REases usually cleave sequences as homodimers. However, BcnI, an enzyme belonging to this subtype, acts in a different way. Karimi’s work aims to observe the fine details of BcnI’s cleavage mechanism by using Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy, an imaging technique in which only molecules within a few hundred nanometers of a glass surface are illuminated.

The Graduate Speaker Series is open to the entire Wesleyan community. Karimi’s talk was the latest in the series; earlier this fall, biology PhD candidate Jake Aronowitz presented his research on zebra finches, songbirds native to central Australia.

Additional photos of Karimi’s talk are below: (Photos by Nick Sng ’23)

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grad student