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Wah Chiu, PhD
Visualizing Molecular Machines and Cells
Alvin Romansky Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Director, National Center for Macromolecular Imaging; Director, Center for Protein Folding Machinery; Co-Director, W. M. Keck Center for Computational Biology, Baylor College of Medicine
2 Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA 24016
A virus is a nanoparticle that infects a host cell and replicates itself inside the cell. Dr. Chiu’s team visualizes the 3-D structures of virus particles in a cellular environment. Multiple 3-D snapshots of a virus infecting a bacterium uncover a detailed mechanism of viral protein rearrangements to accommodate DNA packaging and release. A structural comparison of bacterial and animal viruses provides a basis for designing a synthetic nanoparticle containing DNA for biotechnology applications.
A public reception will precede this event in the VTC Café at 5 p.m.
About the Speaker:
Wah Chiu, PhD, is a Distinguished Service Professor and the Alvin Romansky Professor of Biochemistry at the Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Chiu is the director of the National Center for Macromolecular Imaging and the Center for Protein Folding Machinery, and the co-director of W.M. Keck Center for Computational Biology. His research interests are to determine 3-dimensional structures of biological nanomachines by electron cryomicroscopy and computer reconstruction, and to relate the structures to their functional mechanisms. The structural technique he uses complements those of x-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy. His laboratory is uniquely equipped with four intermediate voltage electron cryomicroscopes and supercomputer and has pioneered various experimental and computational methods in biological cryo-EM. Dr. Chiu earned his PhD in biophysics from the University of California, Berkeley.