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Peter J. W. Debye Professor
Professor Chen's Group develops and applies single-molecule approaches to interrogate and understand the function and dynamics of nanomaterials and biomacromolecules, with the goal of acquiring fundamental chemical knowledge for developing better strategies for energy conversion as well as for curing and preventing diseases.
2002 Franklin Veatch Memorial Fellowship
1999 Gerhard Casper Stanford Graduate Fellowship
Single-molecule super-resolution imaging, nanoscale (photo)(electro)catalysis, polymerization catalysis, bioinorganic/biophysical chemistry, bacterial cell imaging, solar and biological energy conversion
- Chemistry and Chemical Biology
- Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Our research focuses on developing and applying single-molecule techniques to understand molecular processes of physical, bioinorganic, and biophysical in nature. Compared with traditional ensemble measurements, single-molecule approaches remove ensemble averaging, so that transient intermediates and heterogeneous subpopulations can be captured and characterized in both spatial and temporal dimensions and under realistic conditions. Current projects are divided into three main areas:
- Single-molecule catalysis. Here we study the catalytic, electrocatalytic, and photoelectrocatalytic properties of nanoscale materials and small-molecule catalysts at the single-turnover temporal resolution and nanometer spatial resolution. The goal here is to acquire chemical knowledge for developing better catalysts for chemical processing, fuel generation, and (solar) energy conversion.
- Single-molecule bioinorganic/biophysical chemistry. Here we study the dynamics and mechanisms of the protein machineries involved in cellular metal regulation, trafficking, and efflux both in vitro and in living cells, as well as of molecular processes related to protein folding in living cells. The goal here is to acquire chemical and biological knowledge for developing strategies to cure and prevent diseases.
- Method development. In pursuit of our scientific interests, sometimes we develop new methods or extend/improve existing methods to enable new experiments, especially single-molecule/particle level measurements.
See complete publication list at Group Website.
- L. A. Genova, M. F. Roberts, Y.-C. Wong, C. E. Harper, A. G. Santiago, B. Fu, A. Srivastava, W. Jung, L. M. Wang, L. Krzeminski, X. Mao, X. Sun, C.-Y. Hui, P. Chen,* C. J. Hernandez* "Mechanical stress compromises multicomponent efflux complexes in bacteria" Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2019, 116, 25462-25467.
- X. Mao, C. Liu, M. Hesari, N. Zou, P. Chen* "Super-resolution imaging of nonfluorescent reactions via competition" Nature Chem. 2019, 11, 687-694.
- N. Zou, X. Zhou, G. Chen, N. M. Andoy, W. Jung, G. Liu, P. Chen* "Cooperative communication within and between single nanocatalysts" Nature Chem. 2018, 10, 607-614.
- G. Chen, N. Zou, B. Chen, J. B. Sambur, E. Choudhary, P. Chen* "Bimetallic effect of single nanocatalysts visualized by super-resolution catalysis imaging" ACS Cent. Sci. 2017, 3, 1189-1197.
- C. Liu, K. Kubo, E. Wang, K.-S. Han, F. Yang, G. Chen, F. A. Escobedo,* G. W. Coates,* P. Chen* "Single polymer growth dynamics" Science 2017, 358, 353-355.
- A. G. Santiago, T.-Y. Chen, L. A. Genova, W. Jung, A. M. G. Thompson, M. M. McEvoy, P. Chen* “Adaptor protein mediates dynamic pump assembly for bacterial metal efflux” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2017, 114, 6694-6699.
- J. B. Sambur, T.-Y. Chen, E. Choudhary, G. Chen, E. J. Nissen, E. M. Thomas, N. Zou, P. Chen* "Sub-particle reaction and photocurrent mapping to optimize catalyst-modified photoanodes" Nature 2016, 530, 77-80.
- D. J. Martell, C. P. Joshi, A. Gaballa, A. G. Santiago, T.-Y. Chen, W. Jung, J. D. Helmann, P. Chen* “Metalloregulator CueR biases RNA polymerase’s kinetic sampling of dead-end or open complex to repress or activate transcription” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2015, 112, 13467-13472.
- T.-Y. Chen, A. G. Santiago, W. Jung, L. Krzeminski, F. Yang, D. J. Martell, J. D. Helmann, P. Chen* “Concentration and chromosome-organization dependent regulator unbinding from DNA for transcription regulation in living cells” Nature Commun. 2015, 6, 7445.
- C. P. Joshi,D. Panda,D. J. Martell,N. M. Andoy, T.-Y. Chen, A. Gaballa, J. D. Helmann, P. Chen* "Direct substitution and assisted dissociation pathways for turning off transcription by a MerR-family metalloregulator" Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2012, 109, 15121-15126.
- X. Zhou, N. M. Andoy, G. Liu, E. Choudhary, K.-S. Han, H. Shen, P. Chen* "Quantitative super-resolution imaging uncovers reactivity patterns on single nanocatalysts" Nature Nanotech. 2012, 7, 237–241.
- W. Xu, J. S. Kong, Y.-T. E. Yeh, P. Chen* "Single-molecule nanocatalysis reveals heterogeneous reaction pathways and catalytic dynamics" Nature Mater. 2008, 7, 992-996.