For more than a century, researchers have been investigating a family of versatile, photoactive membrane proteins known as rhodopsins. They are extremely abundant in nature and their evolutionary success is reflected in their presence in organisms from all three kingdoms of life. What makes these little guys so interesting to study is that they bind a chromophore called retinal. Retinal absorbs light and the protein uses this energy to perform its specific function. This solar energy conversion is distinct from chlorophyll photosynthesis, and represents new mechanisms by which organisms can make use of solar energy. In this talk we will investigate the mechanism of one of these molecular machines. We will then briefly discuss the results of my research and how they relate to this mechanism.
The talk is from 12:30 to 1:30 pm. Snacks will be provided at 12:00 pm. Make sure to follow the Graduate Seminar Series on Facebook.