Interactive Sessions - Kids' Tech University (KTU) at BGSU    
Dr. Peter LuFebruary 11, 2012
"Seeing is believing: how being able to 'watch' individual protein molecules can tell us how protein molecules

An interactive session led by Dr. Peter Lu



Ohio Eminent Scholar in the Department of Chemistry and a member of the Center for Photochemical Sciences

Proteins play crucial roles in living cells and in life. Proteins perform their functions under constant motions, adopting different shapes, flexibility, and interactions with other biological molecules. Typically, proteins do not act alone, and they often form complexes with other proteins to perform a specific task. Traditionally, protein biology has been studied through measuring thousands and even millions of molecules at a time, just like watching thousands of jellyfish in a snap shot photo picture. In recent years, novel microscopic and spectroscopic imaging approaches have followed the motions of a single protein in action just as you would if you were looking at a movie of a single jelly fish in a tank. In this talk, we will show you movies of single protein molecules in motion and see how this information is being used to understand how proteins actually work.

Dr. H. Peter Lu is an Ohio Eminent Scholar in the Department of Chemistry and a member of the Center for Photochemical Sciences. Dr. Lu was born in China and came to the US to obtain his PhD at Columbia University after first receiving his M Sc in Chemistry at Peking University in China. He was recruited from the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest Laboratory to join BGSU in 2006. Dr. Lu is a pioneer in the field of single-molecule spectroscopy, and has developed new techniques that enable the imaging of single protein molecules as they bind and transform their substrates. These studies have revealed that protein change their conformation when they interact with substrates. An understanding of these dynamic changes is critical to a molecular understanding of the many proteins that perform essential functions in our bodies.

February 2012 - Hands-On Exhibits
After the interactive session the students will be escorted by their parents to have lunch and then to the hands-on portion of the event. There the students will enjoy the experience of interacting with various exhibits from the Bowling Green State University community.