Our research focuses on elucidating the structure and dynamics of nucleic acids and proteins and their interaction in biochemical processes, which is essential for understanding the machinery of life as well as diseases. Nucleic acids are able to fold into astounding functional structures of which we seek to achieve a molecular understanding and control.
We study the folding and dynamics of a number of nucleic acid structures of telomeres and structures relevant to DNA nanotechnology. Specific structures are visualized and studied with fluorescence and Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) spectroscopy and single molecule microscopy. Studies at the single molecule level allow us to obtain much deeper and detailed insights into the nanoscale machinery of biological systems and provide information on population heterogeneities unavailable with traditional ensemble biochemical and biophysical studies. By using and making further development to single molecule FRET microscopy, we are able to obtain exciting information on the structure, conformational dynamics and kinetics of these biomolecules under physiologically relevant conditions.
Many of our projects involve the use of light to obtain structural dynamics information of biological relevance. We have recently started a new line of research in which we use biomolecules to build systems for photonic applications.