Seminar: Assist. Prof. Ryan Hili, October 18, 2017

Centre for Research on Biomolecular Interactions presents Assist. Prof. Ryan Hili, Department of Chemistry, York University

Talk Title: "Expanding the Chemical Diversity of DNA for Increased Molecular Function"

Abstract: Chemical diversity increases molecular function. Thus, it is not surprising that nature places proteins at the apogee of cellular control. Conversely, nucleic acid polymers have only four canonical base pairs consisting of comparatively limited functional groups. This lack of chemical diversity has minimized its role beyond information storage and transfer. Notwithstanding, single-stranded nucleic acid polymers do have advantages over their proteinogenic counterparts. Since they simultaneously represent both phenotype and genotype, they can be rapidly evolved in the laboratory to bind molecular targets. Such nucleic acid polymers are termed aptamers (from Latin aptus – fit; and Greek meros – part). The biomedical potential of aptamers has captured the imagination of chemists who have sought out ways of expanding their chemical diversity in an attempt to enable access to higher molecular function and bridge the functional divide between DNA and proteins. My lab has developed novel combinatorial enzymatic methods to greatly increase the chemical diversity of DNA. The mechanism, scope, and fidelity of this process, and its demonstration in the evolution of high-affinity aptamers against protein targets will be described.

Please join us,

Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: Petrie Science and Engineering Building, Room 317 (York University, Keele Campus)

Refreshments will be served.