Where: Kavli Auditorium
Hasan DeMirci will present the next Science of SLAC employee lecture, “Dancing Ribosomes: The Dynamics of Decoding,” on Monday, May 12, 4 to 5 p.m., in Kavli Auditorium. To provide additional capacity, a live feed will be available in the Kavli third-floor conference room, Building 48 Redwood Room and the Building 901 Redtail Hawk Room.
Refreshments will be served at 3:30 in the Kavli Auditorium lobby.
The Science of SLAC lecture series, introduced in a column by Lab Director Chi-Chang Kao, features some of the exciting research happening at the lab with the potential for revolutionary breakthroughs. The monthly talks are designed to be accessible to the entire lab community and to foster collaboration across science areas and directorates.
Displaying the fancy footwork of a dancer, ribosomes artfully assemble complex 3-D proteins from their building blocks: amino acids. Present in all living cells, ribosomes are choreographed in this delicate task of protein assembly by RNA molecules, which in turn follow the instructions contained in DNA. The ribosome also plays a crucial role in medicine. Most antibiotics attack bacteria by disabling their ribosomes, and the bacteria fight back with compensating mutations. Using X-rays, scientists can observe the setup of the ribosome’s machinery and the changes in its structure caused by antibiotics and mutations. In this talk, DeMirci will describe what is known about ribosomes’ complex “dance” in decoding DNA and RNA instructions and translating them into the language of proteins, and he will describe new research at SLAC that seeks to unveil the still-mysterious steps in ribosome function.
DeMirci obtained his bachelor’s degrees in 2002 from Bosphorus University in Istanbul in the fields of molecular biology, genetics and chemistry. He started his PhD studies at Brown University in 2002, focusing on biochemical and X-ray structural studies of ribosome complexes in Gerwald Jogl’s laboratory. In 2007, his PhD project received the Protein Data Bank award at the American Crystallography Association meeting in Salt Lake City. DeMirci continued as a postdoc at Brown University working with Albert Dahlberg, one of the pioneers in bacterial ribosome genetics. In the summer of 2008, he visited Venki Ramakrishnan’s laboratory at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, U.K., to receive training in ribosome crystallography. He started working as a visiting scientist at the Stanford Pulse Institute in May 2013 and joined the SLAC group as a research associate in 2014, working with the non-periodic imaging group and with Michael Soltis. Currently he is studying ribosome complexes using SLAC’s Linac Coherent Light Source and single-molecule imaging techniques.
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