Elizabeth Murphy, undergraduate in the Braun Research Group, is one of three winners in the research image contest at the Beckman Institute. The goal of the contest was to submit images that showed the intersection between art and science. The contest was broken down into three areas: undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers. All three winning images, and one honorable mention image from each area, are on display in the director's conference room at the institute. Each image has a description to help explain what is going on in the photograph.
Jeff Moore, director of the Beckman Institute and an Ikenberry Endowed Chair in the Department of Chemistry, had this to say, “At the Beckman Institute, we celebrate the collaborative and interdisciplinary research happening within our walls. I’m excited about showcasing images captured using our core research facilities, by the students and postdocs doing incredible work in this space.”
Proteins have proven to have tremendous potential as biological pharmaceuticals and drug targets. The key to successfully using proteins for these applications is maintaining stability. There is widespread interest in the use of zwitterionic poly(sulfobetaine) (pSB) to stabilize proteins in solution due to their assumed “protein-avoidance.” However, pSB-protein interactions have yet to be completely understood. For example, despite the existence of complementary charged pSB and proteins, why would pSB not interact with proteins? This research demonstrated that pSB chains in solution can actually interact with proteins directly and affect their stability. Displayed is an inspection light microscope image of pSB in solution.
Read about the other winners here.