Seminar 4/4/2012 - Jeetain Mittal, Lehigh University: Simulations of Biomolecular Assembly Processes at Interface
Abstract: Although biomolecular folding, binding and assembly are usually conceived of as occurring in a bulk aqueous solution, there are numerous instances of such processes occurring near interfaces within cells. Examples of these interfaces include very large macromolecules, membranes bounding intracellular compartments and the cell membrane itself. Interfacial behavior of biomolecules is also important in several technological applications such as DNA-based nanomaterials, biosensors, and microarrays. In this talk, I will discuss two ongoing research problems in my group that illustrates rich behavior exhibited by biomolecules near interfaces. First, I will describe the effects of confinement on the folding thermodynamics of a ?-hairpin. The key result from this work is that folding free energy landscape is significantly different under confinement and these changes are a result of favorable peptide-wall interactions. In the second part of my talk, I will talk about the behavior of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) molecules near carbon nanotubes. We find that ssDNA adsorbs strongly on the surface and very often forms a stable wrapped structure self-stitched by hydrogen bonding between distant bases brought close to each other by the wrapping. The prevalence and flavor of this self-stitch motif is highly sequence-specific.
Bio: Jeetain Mittal received his doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Texas, Austin, his masters degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology and his bachelors degree, also in chemical engineering, from Punjab Technical University. Prior to coming to Lehigh, he worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Laboratory of Chemical Physics at the National Institutes of Health. His group is interested in a variety of topics related to Soft Matter and Biophysics research including macromolecular crowding, protein folding and assembly, biomolecular assembly processes at bio-nano-interfaces, hydrophobic interactions and water behavior.
All seminars are held on Wednesdays from 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. in the Bowen Hall Auditorium Room 222. A light lunch is provided at 11:30 a.m. in the Bowen Hall Atrium immediately prior to the seminar.
Location: Bowen Hall Auditorium
Date/Time: 04/04/12 at 12:00 pm - 04/04/12 at 1:00 pm
Category: PRISM/PCCM Seminar Series