Overexpression and aberrant activation of the ErbB receptors, a family of mammalian proteins, plays a role in the progression of epithelial and brain tumors. These receptors are a primary target for cancer therapeutics, yet emerging evidence suggests that tumors develop resistance to current therapeutics. We build a mechanistic understanding of receptor response by merging model membrane-protein systems and single-molecule spectroscopy. Our membrane systems provide a near-physiological environment, while single-molecule FRET measurements monitor the conformational dynamics of the receptors. This combination of tools allows us to identify the protein motions to drive the development of new therapeutics.
Arnold O. Beckman exemplifies the meaning of the word humanitarian. Combined with his unwavering enthusiasm for life, his keen sense of humor and his strong moral and ethical principles, he is a national icon.