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Public Lecture @ Frost Science: The World of Single Molecule Microscopy

This is a past event.

Thursday, March 30, 2023 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, Frost Planetarium 1101 Biscayne Blvd Miami, FL 33132

The ability to “see” single biomolecules with laser microscopy has led to a revolution in research opportunities for chemistry, physics, and molecular biology.

In this public lecture hosted by the Department of Physics and Phillip and Patricia Frost of Science on Thursday, March 30Dr. David J. Nesbitt of JILA, University of Colorado, will present A Brief Stroll through the World of Single Molecule Microscopy: How to Study Biology, One Molecule at a Time. This talk will present a few short stories with the common theme of how we can use optical microscopy and single photon counting laser fluorescence methods to probe/measure the folding of single nucleic acid molecules (e.g., DNA and RNA) in real time.

Dr. Nesbitt will show how these single molecule methods can be used to measure rates for conformational folding and unfolding, as well as how we can strongly influence folding of DNA and RNA by heating/cooling or addition of cations like the Mg+2 you drink in Gatorade. A unifying goal in these stories will be the development of simple physical pictures that help us interpret, explain, and potentially influence the biophysics of DNA and RNA folding at the single molecule level.

Professor David Nesbitt:

Professor David Nesbitt is a fellow of JILA, a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a Full Professor in both the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and in the Department of Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Nesbitt received his BA in Chemistry and Physics from Harvard University in 1975 and his PhD in Chemical Physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1981. He is interested in laser spectroscopy, dynamics, and kinetics of fundamental molecular, bio-molecular, and nanoparticle systems, studied at either the quantum state-to-state or single molecule level.

Dr. Nesbitt has won numerous honors and awards including National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, National Bureau of Standards, 1981-82; Miller Fellow, University of California, Berkeley, 1982-84; American Chemical Society Nobel Laureate Signature Award, 1983 (with S. R. Leone and J. T. Hynes); Dreyfus Foundation Grant for Newly Appointed Faculty in Chemistry, 1984; Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, 1987; Wilson Prize Lecture, 1989; American Physical Society Fellow, 1991; Arthur S. Fleming Award for Government Service, 1991; Department of Commerce Silver Medal, 1992; Edward Uhler Condon Award (National Institute for Standards and Technology), 1995; Earle K. Plyler Prize (American Physical Society) 1997; William F. Meggers Award (Optical Society of America), 1999; Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, 1999-present; Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award, 1999; Bourke Medal, Royal Society of Chemistry, Faraday Division, 2002; Senior Fellow, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2005-present; Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK), 2005; Presidential Rank Award, 2009; Fellow of the American Chemistry Society, 2010-present; E. Bright Wilson Award (American Chemical Society), 2017.


Admission is complimentary. Tickets are limited to four per transaction. Program will take place inside the Frost Planetarium.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Program starts promptly at 7:00 p.m. Seating is first-come, first-served.

Food and beverage will be available for purchase prior to the event.

Please note registration to the event does not include museum admission. Museum exhibitions close at 6:00 p.m. Onsite parking is available in the museum garage for $8 flat rate starting at 6:00 p.m.

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