Seminar by Dr. Sabrina Rose Leslie

SME 248 - Cymer Conference Center
Getting into that “room at the bottom” of DNA analysis
Dr. Sabrina Rose Leslie
McGill University
A wide range of life-preserving processes, such as DNA transcription and repair, rely on weak intermolecular interactions and slow dynamics which occur at high concentrations, over long time periods, and often under confinement. Visualizing protein and DNA dynamics and interactions can present a challenge to fluorescence microscopy, the work horse for resolving biological processes at the molecular scale. To address this challenge, we present new in vitro diagnostics which use tunable and transverse nanoscale confinement to bring biomolecules into crisp view under previously inaccessible conditions. We tackle the challenge of manipulating and visualizing long strands of DNA for genomic analysis, ultimately extracted from small numbers of cells (Berard et al, PNAS 2014 and Commentary). Further, we are motivated to explore how fluctuations in DNA conformations mediate strand-invasion, transcription and gene expression, which remain an open and compelling questions.
Dr. Sabrina Rose Leslie is an Assistant Professor of Physics at McGill University in Montreal, Canada where she has created and lead a single-molecule biophysics laboratory since January 2012. She was a Mary Fieser Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University from 2009-2011. She earned her Ph.D. in optical and atomic physics in the Department of Physics at Berkeley during 2002 - 2008. She leverages her expertise in optics and microscopy to innovate new ways to manipulate and visualize biomolecules on the nanometer scale, leading to new biomedical diagnostics as well as pursuing new biophysical discoveries.

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