(December 2017) Distinguished biophysicist Rama Ranganathan joined University of Chicago as a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Institute for Molecular Engineering. He is the new Director of BioCARS facility and will also lead the new Center for Physics of Evolving Systems at the University of Chicago.
Prof. Ranganathan lead recent development of electric field-stimulated X-ray crystallography, where brief, external voltage pulses introduce perturbation in the protein molecules in the crystal and induce structural changes which are monitored by time-dependent X-ray diffraction. Aimed at stimulating motions within proteins and visualizing those motions in real time at atomic resolution, this approach makes it possible to create video-like images of proteins in action. Applications to important biological systems such as voltage-gated ion channels are clear.