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Andrea Markelz (UB) at HWI

Category: Seminar


Andrea Markelz is a Professor of Physics and Adjunct Professor of Structural Biology and Electrical Engineering. Dr. Markelz received her bachelor’s degree from University California, Berkeley in Applied Mathematics and Physics. She then received a Master’s degree in Applied Physics from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Columbia University. Her PhD is in Physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara on nonlinear optical response in the far infrared. She is a member of the international organization committee of the International Infrared Millimeter and Terahertz Organization, an external review committee member of BioTHz in Seoul, Korea. She served as a reviewer for multiple international journals and both national and international funding agencies. She is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award. Dr. Markelz’s research focuses on the applications of terahertz light to understand protein dynamics, intermolecular interactions and collective excitations in electronic materials. Her group develops instrumentation to efficiently and sensitivity measure these excitations, as well develop computational approaches to understand the measurements. Instrumentation development includes sample preparation using self-assembly as well as standard photolithographic methods. Optical instrumentation is based on ultrafast lasers, linear and nonlinear optical generation and detection as well as standard FTIR measurements. The group has developed THz microspectroscopy to characterize intramolecular protein vibrations. Measurements are performed from 10 K – 500 K. Modeling of sample response uses molecular dynamics software such as charmm and NAMD, or HFSS for solid state dielectric response. Dr. Markelz, as part of the BioXFEL Center will focus her research on how crystal contacts influence the intramolecular vibrations.

Dr. Markelz will be giving a talk at the Hauptman-Woodward Institute Thursday, November 15th.  Details below.

Date & Time:  Thursday, November 15th at 3PM

Location:  Hauptman-Woodward Institute, 700 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, NY 14203

Room:  Flickinger Lecture Hall 1F

Measuring Protein Intramolecular Dynamics with Terahertz Light: Functional Changes and Relevance to Biology

Yanting Deng, Mengyang Xu, Deepu Koshy George, Catherine Luck, Akansha Sharma and Andrea Markelz

Department of Physics, University at Buffalo, SUNY, Buffalo, NY 14260

As Austin and coworkers showed over 45 years ago [1], thermally activated motions are critical to protein function, however the characterization of these motions has been challenging.  In the last 20 years new optical instrumentation in the critical terahertz (THz) frequency range has enabled unprecedented characterization of these dynamics revealing changes in the collectivity and orientation of motions with functional state for enzymes and photoactive proteins [2-5].  In this talk I will review measurements of protein intramolecular vibrations, their directionality and their impact on steering function.  The various shortcomings of standard simulation methods to analyze the optical results will be discussed as well as possible strategies to overcome these. This work was supported by National Science Foundation MRI^2 grant DBI2959989, IDBR grant DBI1556359, and MCB grant MCB1616529, and the Department of Energy BES grant DE-SC0016317.

1.            Austin, R.H., et al., Dynamics of Ligand Binding to Myoglobin. Biochemistry, 1975. 14(24): p. 5355-5373.

2.            Falconer, R.J. and A.G. Markelz, Terahertz Spectroscopic Analysis of Peptides and Proteins. J. Infrared, Millimeter and THz Waves, 2012. 33: p. 973-988.

3.            Niessen, K.A., et al., Moving in the Right Direction: Protein Vibrational Steering Function. Biophysical Journal, 2017. 112(5): p. 933-942.

4.            Niessen, K., M. Xu, and A.G. Markelz, Terahertz optical measurements of correlated motions with possible allosteric function. Biophysical Reviews, 2015. 7: p. 201-216.

5.            Acbas, G., et al. Optical measurements of long-range protein vibrations. Nature Communications, 2014.  DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4076.


When: Thursday, November 15 2018, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM (ET) (UTC -05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada), Bogota, Lima
Contact: Erin Uppington at or 716-898-8610
Where: 700 Ellicott St