Michael Thompson

The BioXFEL Center is proud to announce the recipient of the Postdoctoral Research Award. Michael Thompson of the University of California - San Francisco. Michael received an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. from UCLA.  He is currently a postdoc in the Fraser Laboratory at UCSF.   The award is for $20,000 per year for two years.  Below is a summary of his work.

"We will leverage the unique properties of XFEL radiation sources to develop time-resolved, temperature-jump X-ray diffraction experiments as a general method for studying the conformational dynamics of protein molecules. Time-resolved crystallography offers the opportunity to simultaneously interrogate both the structure and kinetics of dynamic processes, however, this technique has been limited in scope by the need to rapidly perturb the system at the start of the experiment, usually by taking advantage of very specific photochemical reactions. In contrast, temperature-jump is a universal means by which to perturb the conformational dynamics of any protein molecule, and populate conformational states that are not significantly represented at ambient temperatures. The experiments we develop will allow us to watch proteins traverse their conformational landscapes, on their way to higher-energy states, which are often relevant for catalysis, allosteric communication, and other fundamental biological processes."