protein structures and brain images

Dr. Jason Sidabras Receives Grant to Study the Structure/Function Relationship of Enzymes using EPR

Jason Sidabras, PhDJason Sidabras, PhD, assistant professor of biophysics, was awarded a five-year, $1.62 million R01 grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to investigate the structure–function relationship of enzymes using electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) technology.

EPR is a spectroscopic technique that measures the absorption of energy by unpaired electrons and is used to monitor interactions with the local molecular environment. These unpaired electrons can naturally occur during the catalytic process of an enzyme or be engineered using site-directed spin labeling. Studying these paramagnetic states in detail is critical for understanding the protein structure–function relationship of the unpaired electrons to coordination sphere and secondary structures of the protein.

In this proposal, Dr. Sidabras will focus on three technical and method developments that significantly improve X-band EPR sensitivity for three classes of samples: small to medium-sized (0.1–3 nl) protein single crystals, volume-limited frozen samples (85 nl), and microfluidic (500 nl) with microfluidic sample handling. The combination of these prototypes will be easy to use and widely available to the scientific community, enabling a wide range of new applications in biomedical EPR spectroscopy.