The Chemla lab studies mechanical processes in biology. Our interests range from how proteins interact with DNA - bending, wrapping, or translocating along the molecule - to how cells swim and process information from the environment. We use state-of-the-art biophysical techniques such as optical tweezers and fluorescence to detect such processes at the level of a single molecule or cell. These techniques are extremely powerful since they are not subject to the averaging artifacts of traditional ensemble biochemical methods.
Students in the Chemla group work on all facets of research: design and construction of instrumentation, development of biological systems, and quantitative analysis and modeling of collected data. Interested students and postdocs with backgrounds in physics, biology, chemistry, or related fields are welcome to contact Prof. Chemla.
Our paper, "Sequence-dependent base pair stepping dynamics in XPD helicase unwinding", accepted in eLIFE
Zhi Qi received a Ph.D. He will be working as postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University. Congratulations!
Our paper, "DNA target sequence identification mechanism for dimer-active protein complexes", accepted in Nucleic Acids Research
Our paper, "The dynamic pause-unpackaging state, an off-translocation recovery state of a DNA packaging motor from
bacteriophage T4", accepted in PNAS
Markita Landry received a Ph.D. She is working as a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Prof. Yann Chemla selected as a Fellow for the Center for Advanced Study (2012-2013)
Our paper, "Chemotactic adaptation kinetics of individual Escherichia coli cells", accepted in PNAS
Combined molecular techniques reveal more about DNA proteins
Physics professors Taekjip Ha and Yann Chemla combined their expertise in single-molecule biophysics—fluorescence microscopy and optical traps, respectively—to study binding and unbinding of individual DNA segments to a larger strand. They and their joint postdoctoral researcher Matthew Comstock detail their technique in a paper published in the Feb. 20 online edition of Nature Methods
Our research group is funded by
NSF Center for Physics of Living Cells
National Institute of Health
National Science Foundation
Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Department of Physics, UIUC