CATS Seminar, "Forces in Nanoscale Biology: New Insights and Techniques in Single-Molecule Manipulation," to be held Dec 5

The Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS) presents a seminar by Dr. Ken Halvorsen, Postdoctoral Fellow, Immune Disease Institute, Harvard University, entitled: "Forces in Nanoscale Biology: New Insights and Techniques in Single-Molecule Manipulation," to be held in CII 5003 on Monday, December 5 at 1:30pm.  Everyone is welcome!!

Mechanical forces can have dramatic effects on both the structure and function of single biological molecules and molecular complexes. Years of technological advancements have fueled growth in single-molecule biophysics, and it is now possible to manipulate individual molecules with unprecedented accuracy and control. This talk will discuss our custom high-resolution optical tweezers system, and a recent study where it was used to show how part of the blood clotting cascade is regulated by a force-activated single-molecule mechanical switch. This talk will also describe some exciting new techniques that we have developed to make single-molecule experimentation more efficient and accessible. One example, the Centrifuge Force Microscope, enables highly multiplexed experimentation (thousands at a time), shortening experimental time from days to minutes.

Ken Halvorsen is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Associate in Wesley Wong's lab at Harvard's Immune Disease Institute in Boston. He earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering and physics from Clarkson University, and worked as a mechanical engineer at Plug Power before pursuing a graduate degree. Ken earned his PhD in biomedical engineering in 2007 and did postdoctoral work with Wesley Wong at the Rowland Institute at Harvard University.