[Seminar] Single molecule studies of vascular damage and DNA damage repair pathways by Prof. Justin E. Molloy
In the first part of the seminar, Prof. Molloy will describe studies of the DNA damage repair enzymes PARP1&PARP2 using a magnetic tweezers assay that allow control of DNA tension, topology and end-chemistry. The results revealed fundamental mechanisms of DNA-PARP interaction which may aid development of PARP inhibitors. In the second part, he will show, using TIRF microscopy of single molecules, how the blood vessel surface protein, P-selectin, which is secreted by endothelial cells in response to vascular damage, undergoes a sol-gel transition as it diffuses from exocytosis sites across the plasma membrane.
Justin Molloy trained as a biologist at the University of York, UK and went on to study the molecular mechanism of muscle contraction for his PhD (1988). He held a NATO post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Vermont, working on the mechanical properties of insect flight muscle.
He returned to the University of York in 1990 where together with Professor David White he developed optical tweezers to measure the force and movement produced by a single myosin molecule. He obtained a Royal Society University Research Fellowship and his new lab developed single molecule methods in order to study how biological molecules work both in vitro and within living cells.
In 2002, he moved to the MRC National Institute for Medical Research and joined the Francis Crick Institute in 2015. His research team use single molecule techniques; including optical and magnetic tweezers, TIRF microscopy and atomic force microscopy to help increase our understanding of energy transduction by biological macromolecules. In 2022, Justin was appointed Professor of Biophysics at the Centre for Mechanochemical Cell Biology within the Medical School at the University of Warwick.
Justin also serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees for the National DeafBlind charity SENSE.