Welcome to the Landes Research Group
The Landes Research Group uses single molecule spectroscopy to study dynamic heterogeneity and its role in biological and synthetic materials function.
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As experimental physical chemists, the overall goal of our research is to understand the frequently complex structure-function relationships in biological systems and to use this information to inspire innovation in biomimetic materials design.
Innate benchmarks in materials engineering include cost, efficiency, and longevity. As our experimental and theoretical ability to observe nature’s molecular-scale methods have improved, we begin to understand that one reason nature can be so successful is that her design strategy differs from ours. Whereas humans usually design materials with a single, well-defined function, nature often acts through redundant or degenerate channels that are singly not as efficient, but collectively, and in the face of damage or wear, outperform their synthetic cousins.
Our central question is: Can we take cues from the structure-function interplay and use of cooperative pathways in nature’s biomolecular processes to inform design principles for tailoring functional materials applications? The pursuit of answers to this question presents challenges for theory, measurement, and data interpretation.
Three specific objectives related to our overall goal are:
Identify and understand biological benchmarks for heterogeneous
Identify and understand evidence for heterogeneous structure-function
relationships in synthetic systems
Exploit signal processing and information theoretical tools to develop analytical algorithms optimized for understanding heterogeneous structure-function relationships in single molecule and single particle spectroscopy