Gabriela Schlau-Cohen to join the department

March 24, 2014

Dr. Gabriela Schlau-Cohen, currently a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, will join the department as an assistant professor on January 16, 2015. 

Research in the Schlau-Cohen group will use a combination of single-molecule and ultrafast spectroscopies to explore the energetic and structural dynamics of biological systems. There are two major research thrusts. The first is developing new methodology to measure ultrafast dynamics on single proteins, which will be a means to study systems with both sub-nanosecond and second dynamics. The second merges optical spectroscopy with model membrane systems to provide a novel probe of how biological processes extend beyond the nanometer scale of individual proteins.

Inspired by the need to harness sunlight, one application of these approaches will be exploring the underlying mechanisms of photosynthetic light harvesting. Photosynthetic organisms convert absorbed sunlight to electricity with remarkable near unity quantum efficiency by transporting energy through a network of proteins. To understand the mechanisms behind this fundamental process, experiments will probe both the heterogeneity of the individual proteins and how they are wired together to produce efficient and adaptive systems.