Nucleic acids offer a high degree of programmability that enables the rational design and synthesis of structured three-dimensional molecular architectures that mimic aspects of highly evolved, natural protein assemblies, as well as the interrogation of messenger RNA and protein structure and dynamics in living systems using super-resolution fluorescence imaging. In the first part of my seminar I will present work in our group to enable the design [1, 2, 3] and synthesis  of structured nucleic acid assemblies to engineer synthetic viral capsid mimics  for high-resolution imaging, metallic nanoparticle synthesis , and therapeutic delivery. In the second part of my seminar I will present the application of nucleic acids to the super-resolution fluorescence imaging of neuronal messenger RNA transport and translation dynamics [5, 6], as well as the characterization of neuronal synapse structure using an approach that overcomes the four-color spectral limit of conventional fluorescence imaging . Together, these examples will illustrate the application of synthetic nucleic acids and fluorescence imaging to program and probe complex biomolecular machines.
 Castro, C.E., Kilchherr, F., Kim, D.N., Lin Shiao, E., Wauer, T., Wortmann, P., Bathe, M., Dietz, H. A primer to scaffolded DNA origami. Nature Methods, 8: 221 (2011).
 Lattice-free prediction of three-dimensional structure of programmed DNA assemblies. Pan, K., Kim, D.N., Zhang, F., Adendorff, M., Yan, H., Bathe, M. Nature Communications, 5: 5578 (2014).
 Designer nanoscale DNA assemblies programmed from the top down. Veneziano, R., Ratanalert, S., Zhang, K., Pan, K., Zhang, F., Yan, H., Chiu, W., Bathe, M. Science, 352: 1534 (2016).
 Casting inorganic structures with DNA molds. Sun, W., Boulais, E., Hakobyan, Y., Wang, W., Guan, A., Bathe, M., Yin, P. Science, 346: 717 (2014).
 Inferring transient particle transport dynamics in live cells. Monnier, N., Barry, Z., Park, H.Y., Su, K.C., Katz, Z., English, B., Dey, A., Pan, K., Cheeseman, I., Singer, R., Bathe, M. Nature Methods, 12: 838
 Mapping translation in live cells by tracking single molecules of mRNA and ribosomes. Katz, Z.B., English, B.P., Lionnet, T., Yoon, Y.J., Monnier, N., Ovryn, B., Bathe, M., Singer, R.H. eLife, e10415
 Multi-channel confocal and super-resolution imaging with diffusible fluorescent probes. Guo, S.M., Gordonov, S., Veneziano, R., Kulesa, T., Park, D., Blainey, P., Boyden, E., Bathe, M. Submitted (2017).
Host: Prof. M. G. Finn