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(November 3) Protein Electrodynamics and Terahertz Medicine


Protein Electrodynamics and Terahertz Medicine


15:30-16:30, Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Dr. Organ Gurel, MD


E3-2, 6th floor, Room 222


It is well known that proteins exhibit dynamic behavior with their normal modes specifically vibrating at terahertz frequencies. These motions are essential to protein function and because these macromolecules are charged the existence of such vibrations suggest the possibility of specific interaction with electromagnetic radiation in the terahertz band. Time-domain spectroscopic experiments were performed identifying specific absorption of terahertz radiation (~0.8THz and 1.3THz) by met-hemoglobin as well as potential interactions between high frequency and low frequency modes (e.g. Stokes shift). This proof-of-concept result suggests that these protein spectroscopic signatures can serve as the basis of a novel form of molecular medical imaging; likewise terahertz-modulated manipulation of such motions may underlie new forms of therapy. In addition to an update on rapid developments in the field, other collaborative studies now underway, including THz imaging of both cancer and Alzheimer’s tissues, and 2D THz spectroscopy as applied to biomolecules, will be discussed.


Dr. Ogan Gurel is Chief Innovation Officer at CampusD, a Seoul-based FabLab, design innovation center and startup incubator, as well as Senior Advisor for Innovation at DRB Holdings and a Visiting Professor at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Health Sciences and Technology (Sungkyunkwan University/Samsung Medical Center) with research interests in protein electrodynamics and terahertz medicine. He is also an Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne in the Centre for Neural Engineering, Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering. Dr. Gurel obtained an M.D. Alpha Omega Alpha from Columbia University where he worked in structural biology, served as a visiting researcher at the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble, and obtained a Bachelor’s in Biochemical Sciences cum laude from Harvard College, where he did his senior thesis research with Prof. Martin Karplus (2013 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry), studying the then nascent field of protein dynamics.