T32 Seminar

Evan Miller, PhD

Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology
University of California, Berkeley

Wednesday, April 24 | 4:00 pm
Pancoe Auditorium
Coffee and refreshments will be served at 3:45 am


Electrophysiology, Unplugged: Chemical Tools to Image Cell Physiology

Rapid changes in membrane potential facilitate the unique physiology of electrically-excitable cells like neurons and cardiomyocytes. Even in non-electrically excitable cells, where membrane potential changes can be much slower, voltage is linked to a variety of cell outcomes including differentiation, cell cycle, and cancer aggressiveness. Despite the central importance of membrane potential dynamics, methods to accurately monitor voltage rely on highly invasive electrodes or indirect optical measurements, such as calcium imaging with fluorescent sensors. Direct visualization of voltage changes has the potential to couple the speed and sensitivity of electrode-based methods with the spatial resolution of imaging approaches. However, the development of fast, sensitive, and bright voltage-sensitive fluorescent indicators remains an outstanding challenge. I present our efforts to design, synthesize, and apply fluorescent indicators that use photoinduced electron transfer (PeT) as a voltage-sensing trigger to achieve fast and sensitive voltage imaging in a variety of biological contexts.


Evan Miller is currently an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He started his research lab at Berkeley in 2013 in the departments of Chemistry and Molecular & Cell Biology. Prior to that, Evan pursued post-doctoral studies in the lab of Roger Y. Tsien at the University of California, San Diego from 2009 to 2013, and completed his PhD in organic chemistry under the direction of Christopher J. Chang, also at UC Berkeley. Evan attended Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, earning a B.S. in biology/chemistry and a B.A. in philosophy/theology in 2004.


Hosted by CLP Trainee Ashley Ives.This is a required activity for CLP Trainees. Supported by the Chemistry of Life Processes Predoctoral Training Program NIH/ NIGMS 5T32GM105538-06