The Dyer lab at Emory University studies protein dynamics important in protein folding and enzymatic catalysis with the objective of improving our understanding of human health and disease. We seek to answer fundamental questions such as how atomic motions of the protein structure couple to the catalytic reaction coordinate, and the coupling of backbone and sidechain ordering in a protein folding or misfolding reaction. We are also interested in fundamental problems important to the storage of solar energy as fuel, specifically new photo-catalytic approaches to make hydrogen and to reduce CO2.
Protein dynamics span a wide range of time scales. We have developed time-resolved spectroscopy methods to investigate protein dynamics from femtoseconds to kiloseconds, with high structural specificity. We emphasize infrared spectroscopy coupled with isotope editing to follow specific biomolecular structural dynamics on all relevant time scales.
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The Dyer lab visited Tybee Island, GA this past weekend for some collaborative brainstorming- and some fun in the sun. After a summative “State of the Group” address Friday night by Dr. Dyer, students spent most of Saturday sharing ideas for ongoing and upcoming experiments in each subgroup, new capabilities for the lab, and outreach and professional development opportunities.
Dyer lab undergraduate research assistants, Eric Park and Xander Grayson presented their work as poster presentations this week during research symposia at Emory.
Xander works with Sam on synthesizing non-natural tryptophan analogues for applications in fluorescence spectroscopy of proteins. Eric also has a synthetic project, creating photo-caged CO complexes to implement in mechanistic studies of hydrogenase enzymes. Both have worked hard all year and are valuable members of the Dyer lab.
Helen and Brooke presented posters on Saturday, April 21st at the 1st Annual Greater Atlanta Chemical Biology Symposium, held at Emory University. The conference aims to “build and foster a collegial group of scientists at the interface of chemistry and biology. [The organizers] will strive to both develop future leaders of the field and enhance the scientific community throughout the southeast with new collaborations, resources, and programs.”
After a thoroughly enjoyable day of multidisciplinary lectures, posters, and networking, we look forward to next year’s Symposium, to be held at the University of Georgia in Athens.