Biophysics News: The Origami of Life and Nobel Collaborations

The Origami of Life: An Interview with Ionel Popa

Ionel Popa, a faculty member and biophysicist in the Physics Department, has recently been awarded a Shaw Scientist Grant for $200,000 in order to study protein folding – an essential process by which proteins change shape in order to perform their biological functions. The study of protein folding can provide a richer understanding of the mechanisms behind some diseases caused by protein misfolding. On October 18th, Prof. Popa sat down with the UWM Report for an interview regarding his research and goals, which can be read here

Small Scale, Big Names: Collaboration with a 2017 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

On Wednesday, October 4th, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson for their work on cryo-electron microscopy and the high-resolution imaging of biomolecules. Of the three, Joachim Frank of Columbia University is particularly well known in the UWM Physics Department, because he has collaborated with the department’s own Distinguished Professor Abbas Ourmazd and his research group. Their collaboration, beginning in 2010 after the two spoke at a Gordon Research Conference, resulted in a 2014 paper detailing an approach for mapping Brownian motion of biological nanomachines along their trajectories in the free-energy landscape, along with a demonstration this capability in the context of experimental cryogenic electron microscope snapshots of the ribosome.

For further details, click here for the full story as presented in the UWM Report.