Northeastern University

Biomolecular Systems

Research on biomolecular systems extends over a wide range of topics, including molecular interactions from viruses as well as prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. The methods used to examine these interactions include single molecule force spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, femtosecond pump-probe kinetics and coherence spectroscopy, nuclear resonance vibrational spectroscopy, infrared crystallography, as well as various types of biochemical analysis methods.

Collaborations between CIRCS members have resulted in several important interdisciplinary discoveries. Examples of active collaborations include:

Characterization of the E. coli alpha polymerase subunit interactions with DNA using optical tweezers and polymerization assays (Penny J. Beuning and Mark C. Williams)

Atomic force microscopy and single molecule optical tweezers studies to elucidate the mechanism by which high mobility group proteins alter DNA flexibility to facilitate transcription (Mark C. Williams and Nathan Israeloff)

Probing the low frequency, thermally accessible, vibrational motions of biological systems that contain iron. Studies of heme and iron-sulfur proteins and their isolated active site chromophores have revealed key coordinates that govern the fundamental biological mechanisms of electron transfer and diatomic molecule binding (J. Timothy Sage and Paul M. Champion)