14.00 - 15.00 lecture hall MPI for brain research Seminar talk Pau Gorostiza on "Control of biological activity with light-regulated drugs"
ABSTRACT: The large number of photoswitchable biomolecules discovered and developed in recent years covers a great variety of cellular functions like catalysis of metabolic processes, cytoskeletal polymerization and motors, nucleic acids dynamics, intracellular signaling and perhaps most dazzlingly membrane excitability, which has been at the focus of optogenetics and optopharmacology. The dream of precisely and remotely photocontrolling every aspect of the cell’s inner workings in intact tissue appears within reach and offers the promise of interrogating complex cellular processes to discover their molecular mechanisms. In this talk I will review recent and ongoing projects in the lab focused on optopharmacology, including the development of peptide inhibitors of protein-protein interactions, allosteric modulators of G protein-coupled receptors and photoswitchable tethered ligands of ionotropic receptors.
CV: Pau Gorostiza graduated in physics at the Universitat de Barcelona (UB), where he also obtained his Ph.D. (European Doctorate) in the field of semiconductor electrochemistry. He also worked at the microscopy facility of the UB, where he gained experience in AFM and STM of biological samples, as well as in nanotechnology applied to materials science. He has visited the CNRS and the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris (France), and the University of California at Berkeley (USA). His recent works include the development of optical switches for remotely controlling neuronal activity. He obtained a Young Biomedical Investigator Award of the Francisco Cobos Foundation, a Career Development Award of the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) and Starting and Proof-of-Concept grants of the European Research Council (ERC). He is currently ICREA Research Professor at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) in Barcelona.