Life depends on a sophisticated network of biochemical reactions within cells. After decades of advances in structural, molecular, and cell biology, we now have a detailed knowledge of these reactions at both the individual protein level and at the cellular level. Still, many of the molecular mechanisms underlying these networks remain mysterious. This is largely because quantitative information – which allows the exploration through the language of chemistry and physics – are difficult to access in biological systems. This is especially true for the process occurring on the cellular membrane, the primary theater for the biological signal transduction.
Our chief experimental strategy is to combine in vitro membranes with advanced spectroscopic methods, such as single-molecule imaging, time-dependent fluorescence spectroscopy, and surface-selective nonlinear spectroscopy, for understanding system-level cellular phenomena.