October 05 2012
Dr. Sarah L. Keller, a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar from the University of Washington, gave a lecture on Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 4:30 P.M. in the Kolker Lecture Hall at Elmira College. The lecture was entitled “How Playing with Unrealistically Simple Systems Gives Insight into Real Cell Membranes”.
Budding architects can learn some fundamental design principles by playing with LEGOs. Likewise, we can learn some fundamental properties of cell membranes and the proteins that reside in them by playing with toy systems, which are in this case artificial membranes made in the laboratory.
Sarah L. Keller, a biophysicist and professor of chemistry, teaches at the University of Washington, where she is the recipient of two distinguished teaching awards and currently serves as Associate Dean for Research Activities in the College of Arts and Sciences. She investigates self-assembling soft condensed matter systems.
Recent research has focused on how simple lipid mixtures within bilayer membranes give rise to complex phase behavior. In 2011 she was elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences and was named a fellow of the American Physical Society.