Dept.: Professor, Department of Chemistry
Neuroscience Focus Group:
We are applying the new technologies we developed for understanding synaptic function and the make up of synaptic vesicles. For example, we developed a single-molecule method for counting the number of protein molecules present within a cellular structure (e.g. signaling complex) or sub-cellular organelle (e.g. synaptic vesicle). The method uses single-molecule intensity distribution as a calibration to deconvolve the number of protein molecules present, and preserves the key advantage of single-molecule measurements by offering information on both the average value and the variation about the average number. Because most fluorescence images of cells are punctate in which the fluorescent molecules are spatially clustered, this method offers important quantitative information on the biological system being imaged.