Stephen Kowalczykowski (UC Davis)
MolBio Seminar Series
Dr. Stephen Kowalczykowski received his Ph.D. in chemistry and biochemistry with Dr. Jacinto Steinhardt at Georgetown University. His postdoctoral training was with Dr. Peter von Hippel at the University of Oregon. Dr. Kowalczykowski started his independent faculty career in 1981 at Northwestern University Medical School. In 1991, he relocated to the University of California at Davis with the rank of Full Professor. He subsequently served as the Chair of Microbiology and the Director of the Center for Genetics and Development; currently, he is a Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, and of Molecular and Cell Biology. Dr. Kowalczykowski’s honors include election to the National Academy of Sciences (2007), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2005), the American Academy of Microbiology (2003), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2001). Dr. Kowalczykowski’s research programs focus on the molecular mechanisms of recombinational DNA repair; the biochemical functions of DNA helicases; single-molecule biophysical analysis of protein-nucleic acid interactions; and BRCA2 and the molecular etiology of breast cancer.
Single-Molecule Visualization of Protein-DNA Complexes: Understanding Biology, One Molecule at a Time
We can now watch individual proteins acting on single molecules of DNA. Visualization is achieved by capturing a single DNA molecule with optical traps or by tethering to a glass surface. Proteins are visualized via fluorescent reporters, and molecules are manipulated using microfluidic flowcells. Using these approaches, we have imaged proteins functioning in the homology-directed repair of DNA breaks. We can image the search for DNA homology conducted by the RecA, the self-assembly of RecA and RAD51 on DNA, and the function of mediators such as RecFOR and BRCA2.
Free and open to the university community and the public