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Single Molecule Biophysics

atomic force microscope TypeB composite

An ultrastable single molecule measurement platform (image credit: Greg Kubler)

Individual biological molecules can be directly interrogated by techniques such as atomic force microscopy (AFM). In contrast, bulk methods yield ensemble averages that can obscure asynchronous activities.

Further, traditional structural characterization techniques are notoriously difficult to apply to membrane proteins. However, these ubiquitous and pharmaceutically significant molecules are well suited to high-resolution AFM investigations.

We are developing and implementing high-precision single molecule techniques to shed light on the structure, structural energetics, and conformational dynamics of biomolecules including membrane proteins.

A central question is: How does the dynamic structure of these molecules influence their function?



Recent paper on protein-lipid interactions selected as an Editor's Choice in The Journal of Membrane Biology.

Congrats to Katie and co-authors! Two papers recently published on pore-forming peptides: one in Methods, and the other in Faraday Discussions.

Tu defends her PhD amid a pandemic! Major congrats to Dr. Chattrakun - we will miss her in the lab!

Tu's work on translocation acitivty in surface-supported lipid bilayers has been published - congrats! Click here to see the paper.

Anna successfully defends her PhD - major congrats to Dr. Pittman!

Major kudos to Raghu, Tu and co-authors for the new paper on imaging Sec translocases in action that was just published in Science Advances. Click here for a news story about the work "A microscopic topographic map of cellular function".


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Contact Information

  • Prof. Gavin M. King
  • Department of Physics
  • Joint with Biochemistry
  • University of Missouri
  • 223 Physics Building UMC
  • Columbia MO 65211-7010
  • office: (573) 882-3217
  • lab: (573) 884-6795