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Materials Science at Oregon State University

Probing protein-surface interactions - a surface analysis approach

Date: Thursday, Jan 29th
Presenter: Dr. Joe Baio, Assistant Professor, Bioengineering, OSU CBEE


Protein microarrays, antibody-based diagnostics, affinity chromatography, and biomaterials that present ligands to cell receptors are all technologies based on proteins interacting with surfaces. Yet, of the 80,000+ protein crystal structures that have been solved and uploaded to the protein databank, not a single one represents the structure of a protein at a surface. In this presentation, I will demonstrate the application of mass spectrometry, electron spectroscopy and nonlinear optical techniques to probe the orientation, secondary structure, binding chemistry and side-chain geometry of surface bound proteins. With this newly constructed surface analysis toolbox in hand – our work can be broadened from simple model protein/substrate systems to more complex and biologically relevant systems.

Prof. Joe Baio's research interests are focused on the development of analytical methods to solve protein structures at biomaterial surfaces. He earned his PhD at the University of Washington where he worked in Prof. David Castner’s group. To date, the majority of his scientific work has focused on developing a set of surface analysis tools to probe model biological interfaces. The complementary techniques, developed by Prof. Baio, provide molecular information that can be applied to both the design of biomaterial surfaces (i.e. implants, sensors, etc.), drug delivery and to the label-free detection of chemical biomarkers within tissues. Following his PhD, Joe became a NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in Biology in Profs. Tobias Weidner’s and Mischa Bonn’s molecular spectroscopy group at the Max Planck Institute in Mainz, Germany. His work at the MPI focused on the application of non-linear optical spectroscopy techniques to build high-resolution molecular structures of proteins within cell membranes. Since 2013 he has been building an independent research group at Oregon State University.