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STEM-CARE Faculty Presentation 3



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Drs. Chitra Narayanan and Andrew Edmonds will present their research.

Using Muons as a Tool for Finding the Standard Model’s Missing Pieces

Andrew Edmonds, PhD, Department of Earth and Physical Sciences

The Standard Model is our best theoretical understanding of the Universe. It can accurately predict the properties of fundamental particles to many decimal places. However, we know it is incomplete. It does not contain a description of gravity, dark matter, or dark energy, and it does not explain why there is more matter than antimatter in the Universe. To answer these questions, we look for the missing pieces of the Standard Model that would complete our understanding of the Universe. In this talk, I will describe how we use a fundamental particle called the muon as a tool to find these missing pieces.

Structural and Dynamical Properties of Proteins: Implications for Protein Function and Disease

Chitra Narayanan, PhD, Department of Chemistry

Proteins are essential components of living cells. The unique three-dimensional structure of proteins has long been associated with their unique functions. Advances in experimental techniques have revealed that nearly 30% of the genome encodes proteins lacking defined 3D structures, referred to as intrinsically disordered proteins. This presentation will provide an overview of the role of protein structure and dynamics in both health and disease and how changes in protein structure and dynamics can lead to diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. I will also discuss how we can exploit these properties to design novel proteins with an example of how we can design peptides (miniproteins) that can act as effective antimicrobial agents.