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Dissertation Defense: Engineering bioluminescent platforms to visualize complex cellular events

September 26 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Kevin N
PhD Candidate
Pharmaceutical Sciences
Monday, Sept. 26 at 10 a.m.
Natural Sciences II Room 2201

Engineering bioluminescent platforms to visualize complex cellular events


Visualizing interacting cell networks and the resulting cascade of responses provides the framework for dissecting and understanding disease progression. Observing these biological events in the most relevant models – live animals – requires advancements in imaging tools and technologies. Bioluminescence is an imaging modality uniquely suited for applications in whole animals. Unlike fluorescent methods, bioluminescence produces light from the luciferase-catalyzed oxidation of a small molecule luciferin, thereby circumventing the need for an external light source. The lack of required excitation light also mitigates photobleaching and phototoxicity effects that can occur during serial imaging experiments. Despite these advantages, bioluminescence has rarely been used beyond tracking cell proliferation or gene expression. This is due in part to the lack of available tools to probe more complex biological events, such as cell contact and RNA dynamics. Here, two novel bioluminescent platforms leveraging a split luciferase will be presented. The first system involves a method to tag and track cellular interactions in a time and distant dependent manner. The second describes a platform for bioluminescent tracking of transcripts and demonstrates improvements over existing methods for live cell quantification of RNA.


September 26
10:00 am - 11:00 am
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Natural Sciences II, Room 2201
Natural Sciences II, Room 2201
Irvine, CA 92697 United States
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