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Professor Nick Fitzkee Seminar
August 18, 2016 @ 12:45 pm - 1:45 pm
Dr. Nick Fitzkee, assistant Professor of Biophysics & Chemistry, from Mississippi State University will present a seminar titled, Developing a Molecular Understanding Gold Nanoparticle-Protein Interactions.
When exposed to a solution containing gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), proteins spontaneously bind to the nanoparticle surface, leading to the formation of a stable surface coating, or biocorona. The composition of this biocorona in biological fluids depends on various factors, and it is currently impossible to predict whether an adsorbed protein will retain its function on the AuNP surface. AuNPs are potentially useful in a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic applications, but it is necessary to understand the physical interaction with host proteins before any of these applications can be realized. Our group is interested in using biophysical NMR spectroscopy to investigate the structural consequences and thermodynamic determinants of protein-nanoparticle interactions. This seminar summarizes the work we have performed thus far, exploring the effects of protein size, nanoparticle curvature, and surface electrostatics on protein binding kinetics, thermodynamics, and structure. The talk will also discuss several novel approaches developed by our group that are generally useful for studying nanoparticle adsorption in situ. Our results reveal a complex picture of protein-surface interactions, where protein size and charge each play a role at different stages of adsorption. These findings contribute to an emerging set of design principles for protein-functionalized nanoparticles being developed by our group and others.
Dr. Nicholas Fitzkee is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at Mississippi State University. He earned his Ph.D. in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins University with Dr. George Rose, and he completed a postdoc at the National Institutes of Health with Dr. Ad Bax. Dr. Fitzkee is broadly interested in using NMR spectroscopy to study the molecular basis of protein adsorption to surfaces. His group works to develop novel, NMR-based techniques for understanding protein-surface interactions. A major goal of his research is the development of customized, protein-based nanoconjugates for biomedical diagnostics and therapeutics. Such systems could be used as highly selective molecular sensors or effective drug delivery tools.
Host: Paul Rupar