South Texas Section

Local Section of the American Chemical Society

April 2017 Meeting

 “Signed, sealed, delivered: How proteins get where they’re supposed to go in cells”

Thomas Miller

Although proteins are synthesized only in specialized cellular locations, they are destined for delivery to all corners of the cell—and beyond. A key step in this delivery process is the efficient transport, or translocation, of the newly synthesized proteins across cell membranes, which involves a delicate balance between molecular processes. Recent studies offer high-resolution glimpses into the translocation process, but many fundamental aspects of its mechanism and regulation remain poorly understood. This presentation will focus on our lab’s efforts to computationally simulate the protein translocation process and to predict ways of controlling the biosynthesis, targeting, and delivery of proteins in cells.

Thomas Miller’s research focuses on the development of theoretical and computational methods to study chemical processes that are related to solar energy conversion, battery technologies, and cellular function.  After completing his undergraduate studies at Texas A&M University, he attended graduate school in the UK on a British Marshall Scholarship and received his Ph.D. from Oxford University in 2005.  Miller then returned to the US for a postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley. He joined the faculty of the California Institute of Technology in 2008 and was promoted to full professor in 2013.  While at Caltech, he has received awards that include the Sloan Research Fellowship, NSF CAREER Award, Associated Students of Caltech Teaching Award, Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, and the 2015 ACS Early-Career Award in Theoretical Chemistry.

The meeting on Thursday, April 27th:

6–6:30 PM: Social time

6:30–7:30 PM: Dinner

7:30–8:30 PM: Lecture

meeting in the UTRGV Edinburg campus Science Building's Lecture Hall 2.102. Science is building #31 in the map (see here).