Using Chemistry to Observe and Manipulate Cells
Biology is a complex and fascinating chemical system. To understand how this complex system behaves in both health and disease, our lab develops and implements chemical tools that allow us to detect and modify the biochemical processes that occur in living cells. One part of our efforts is focused on imaging the activity of enzymes one molecule at a time. This level of resolution is necessary to understand how these biological catalysts are organized and perform their tasks within the highly compartmentalized environment of the cell. Another branch of our research is centered on perturbing certain equilibria in cells. The goal of this project is to learn about how cells sense and respond to stimuli, for example in diseased states. This research relies on interdisciplinary approaches that combine synthetic chemistry, spectroscopy, biophysical methods, and cell biology to reveal the molecular details of essential biological processes.
Pablo Rivera Fuentes was born in 1984 in Mexico City. He received a BSc (2008) degree in chemical engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He obtained his MSc (2009) and PhD (2012) degrees in chemistry from ETH Zurich, working under the supervision of Prof. François Diederich. Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), he carried out postdoctoral research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Prof. Stephen J. Lippard (2012-2014). He subsequently worked at the University of Oxford with Prof. Harry L. Anderson (Department of Chemistry) and Prof. Christian Eggeling (Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine). He started his independent career as non-tenure-track assistant professor at ETH Zurich in October, 2015, and became tenure-track assistant professor of chemical biology at EPF Lausanne in August, 2019.
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