2023 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Bioengineering
Mentor: Guosong Hong (Materials Science & Engineering)

“Establishing the Mechanism for Primed Photoconversion and Two-Photon Photocleavage of PhoCl Fluorescent Proteins”

Claudia aims to understand the mechanism behind a unique fluorescent protein called PhoCl. This protein exhibits a fascinating process called “primed photoconversion,” where it can be converted or cleaved using two lower-energy photons instead of one high-energy photon. The project involves expressing, purifying, and crystallizing PhoCl proteins, as well as performing time-resolved x-ray crystallography to capture the structural changes during photoconversion. The findings from this study will contribute to the field of protein engineering and synthetic biology, potentially leading to the development of improved PhoCl variants with applications in cell imaging, optogenetics, tissue engineering, and medical device design.