2017 Carl and Gerty Cori Lecture
Dr. Taekjip Ha presented this year’s Carl and Gerty Cori Lecture on February 28, 2017 in Connor Auditorium, Farrell Learning and Teaching Center.
Dr. Taekjip Ha is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry at the Johns Hopkins University and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Dr. Ha received his undergraduate degree in physics from Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea, in 1990. He earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1996, working with Dr. Steven Chu, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997. After postdoctoral training at Stanford University, he joined the Physics Department at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2000, remaining there until his move to Johns Hopkins University in 2015.
Dr. Ha has pioneered the development and application of a wide range of single molecule fluorescence and optical tweezer approaches to manipulate and visualize the movements of single molecules to understand basic biological processes involving DNA and other molecules. He and his colleagues were the first to observe Forster Resonance Energy Transfer at the single molecule level. He has applied these approaches to a wide range of interacting systems, with particular emphasis on proteins and enzymes that function on nucleic acids, including translocases and helicases, a class of ATP-dependent enzymes that move along the DNA helix, while unwinding the two strands.
Dr. Ha has been recognized for his research by numerous awards. In 2011, Ha won the South Korean Ho-Am Prize in Science for his “pioneering application of fluorescence resonance energy transfer techniques to reveal the behavior and physical characteristics of single biomolecules”. In 2015, he was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Ha serves on the editorial boards for Science, Cell, eLife, PRX, Structure, PCCP, Physical Biology and Cancer Convergence.
A reception was held after the seminar in the atrium. Following the reception Dr. Ha and current Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics faculty and their spouses enjoyed dinner at Dominic’s Trattoria in Clayton.