Proctor & Gamble–UCLA Student Organization for Cultural Diversity in Chemistry Lecture: "Photopharmacology and the Restoration of Vision"

Seminar series
Organic Colloquium
When
Thu, Mar 13 5:00pm
Where
Cram Conference Room – 3440 Molecular Sciences Bldg
Speaker Professor Dirk Trauner
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
Department of Chemistry
Description

Proctor & Gamble–UCLA Student Organization for Cultural Diversity in Chemistry Lecture

"Photopharmacology and the Restoration of Vision"

Abstract.  Light can be used to control biological events with unmatched temporal and spatial precision. A case in point is Optogenetics, which is currently revolutionizing neuroscience. Optogenetics relies on naturally occurring, genetically encodable photoreceptors that typically employ retinal as the chromophore. Recently, the incorporation of synthetic photoswitches, such as azobenzenes, into naturally “blind” receptors has been systematically explored as well. These switches can bind covalently or non-covalently to a wide variety of proteins, including ion channels, GPCRs, enzymes and molecular motors, effectively turning them into photoreceptors. As such, they add another dimension to pharmacology, giving rise to a rapidly growing field termed “photopharmacology”. I will discuss the potential of photopharmacology in biology and medicine, in particular with respect to restoring vision and controlling pain.

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