Whitney C. Duim
Visiting Assistant Professor
B.S. Harvey Mudd College
M.Phil., University of Cambridge
PhD, Stanford University
Biological and chemical processes typically occur on small length scales in specific environments. In the Duim lab, we use single-molecule and super-resolved fluorescence nanoscopy to go beyond the diffraction limit of visible light (~250 nm) and probe molecular structures and interactions down to the 10-50 nm scale. Our techniques allow us to work in near-native environments with multicolor labeling of multiple species. We are specifically interested in the protein aggregates formed during the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders such as Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s diseases. These aggregates contain a great deal of fine structural detail below the optical diffraction limit and their morphology is sensitive to the conditions under which they form. Using our custom fluorescence nanoscope, we characterize the structures and growth of protein aggregates to elucidate the mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disease.