14. March 2019

Peter Hamm

A Nonequilibrium Approach to Allosteric Communication

University of Zurich, Department of Chemistry / Zurich, Switzerland

With the term “allostery” one describes the coupling of two separated sites of a protein, where binding of a ligand at the so-called allosteric site changes the function of the protein at a remote active site. Allostery is one of the fundamental mechanisms of regulatory processes in life. The very question of how these two sites communicate with each other remains an intriguing and controversial problem, with the ultimate question of how an allosteric signal “propagates” through a protein. Transient IR spectroscopy provides the time resolution combined with the chemical selectivity necessary to study these nonequilibrium processes. In these experiments, an allosteric protein is light-trigger with the help of a photo-isomerizing azobenzene moiety, which is incorporated into the protein in a way that it mimics an allosteric process, and the response of the protein is recorded by transient IR spectroscopy. I will discuss a variety of protein systems that we have designed for that purpose, as well as ongoing experiments.

Peter Hamm was born 6.4.1966 in Munich, were he also visited elementary and high school.
He studied physics at the Technical University of Munich, were he received his Diploma degree in 1991.
He carried out his PhD studies under Prof. Dr. W. Zinth at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich between 1991 and 1995.
After a short stay as post-doctoral fellow at the same place, he moved to the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (Prof. R. M. Hochstrasser) with a research fellow ship granted by the ‘Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft’ (1996-1998).
In 1999, he was appointed as an independent group leader at the Max Born Institute, Berlin. In 2001, he moved to University of Z├╝rich as Associate Professor at the Physical Chemistry Institute, and was promoted to Full Professor in 2007.

(Source: https://www.chem.uzh.ch/en/research/groups/hamm/curriculumVitae.html)