Lauren Ann Metskas
Assistant Professor Lauren Ann Metskas' biophysics group is interested in large protein arrangements with unique functions, such as the lattices viruses use to enter cells or the arrangement of enzymes inside bioengineered microcompartments. The Metskas lab focuses on the interplay between protein arrangement and function, combining visible light spectroscopy with cryo-electron tomography to study these systems. The spectroscopy provides chemical information, while the tomography allows precise definitions of protein positions and conformations within the assembly. REU students doing research in the Metskas lab will be paired with a graduate student mentor to work on adapting fluorescence spectroscopy tools to cryogenic temperatures for use in our correlated analyses. Projects could involve biosensors, click chemistry, DNA origami, photophysical characterizations or fluorophore quenching.