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Christy Landes

Associate Professor of Chemistry & Electrical and Computer Engineering

As experimental physical chemists, the overall goal of our research is to understand the frequently complex structure-function relationships in biological processes and to use this information to inspire innovation for materials design.

Practical goals in materials engineering include minimal cost, maximum efficiency, and optimized longevity. As our experimental and theoretical methods to study nature’s molecular-scale design principles have improved, we have begun to understand that one reason nature can be so successful is that her engineering strategy often differs from ours. Whereas humans usually design materials with a single, well-defined function, nature often acts through redundant or degenerate channels that are individually not as efficient, but collectively, and in the face of damage or wear, outperform their synthetic cousins. 

Obtaining clues from the biological structure-function interplay presents challenges for theory, experiment, and data analysis. When we study one molecule at a time, we eliminate ensemble averaging, thereby accessing any underlying conformational complexity. However, we must develop new methods to increase information content in the resulting low signal-to-noise single-molecule data. Thus, our research efforts have focused on three specific objectives necessary to achieve the overall goal discussed above:

1) Develop experimental data acquisition and analysis methods to optimize information retrieval in single-molecule and single- particle spectroscopies.

2) Characterize biological examples of heterogeneous structure-function relationships.

3) Identify, understand, and optimize heterogeneous structure-function relationships in synthetic systems. 

Selected Publications

Byers, C.P.; Zhang, H.; Swearer, D.F.; Yorulmaz, M.; Hoener, B.S.; Huang, D.; Hoggard, A.; Chang, W.S.; Mulvaney, P.; Ringe, E.; Halas, N.J.; Nordlander, P.; Link, S.; Landes, C.F. “From tunable core-shell nanoparticles to plasmonic drawbridges: Active control of nanoparticle optical properties” Science Advances 2015, 1, e1500988.

Kisley, L.; Brunetti, R.; Tauzin, L.J.; Shuang, B.; Yi, X.; Kirkeminde, A.W.; Higgins, D.A.; Weiss, S.; Landes, C.F. “Characterization of Porous Materials by fcsSOFI” ACS Nano 2015, 9 9158-9166.

Cooper, D.; Dolino, D.; Jaurich, H.; Shuang, B.; Ramaswamy, S.; Chen, J.; Jayaraman, V.; Landes, C.F. “Conformational Transitions in the Glycine-Bound GluN1 NMDA Receptor LBD via Single Molecule FRET” Biophys. J. 2015, 109, 66-75.

Kisley, L.; Landes, C.F. "A Molecular Approach to Chromatography using Single Molecule Spectroscopy" Analytical Chemistry 2015, 87, 83-89.

Landes, C.F. "Next Generation Fluroescence Microscopy Methods to Elucidate Bacterial Structure/Function" Molecular Microbiology, 2015, 96,1-3.

Kisley, L.; Chen, J.; Mansur, A.P.; Kourentzi, K.; Poongavanam, M.V.; Chen, W.S.; Dhamane, S.; Willson, R.P. Landes, C.F. "Unified Super-Resolution Experiments and Stochastic Theory Provide Mechanistic Insight into Protein Ion-Exchange Adsorptive Separations" PNAS, 2014, 111, 2075-2080.

Hu, Z.; Adachi, T.; Haws, R.; Shuang, B.; Ono, R.J.; Bielawski, C.W.; Landes, C.F.; Rossky, P.J.; Vanden Bout D.A. "Excitonic Energy Migration in Conjugated Polymers: The Critical Role of Interchain Morphology" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 16023-16031.

 Shuang, B.; Chen, J.; Kisley, L.; Landes, C.F. "Troika of Single Particle Tracking Programming: SNR Enhancement, Particle Identification, and Mapping" PCCP, 2014, 16, 624-634.

Chen, J.; Bremauntz, A.; Kisley, L.; Shuang, B.; Landes, C. F. "Super-Resolution mbPAINT for Optical Localization of Single Stranded DNA" ACS Appl. Materials and Interfaces, 2013, 5, 9338-9343.

Dominguez-Medina, S.; Blankenburg, J.; Olson, J.; Landes, C.F.; Link, S. “Stable isotonic saline solutions of gold nanoparticles via albumin adsorption” ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 2013, 1, 833-842.

Shuang, B.; Byers, C.P.; Kisley, L.; Wang, L.Y.; Zhao, J.; Morimura, H.; Link.S.; Landes, C.F. “Improved Analysis for Determining Diffusion Coefficients from Short Single-molecule Trajectories with Photoblinking” Langmuir, 2013, 29, 228-234.

Reznik, C.; Landes, C.F. “Transport in Supported Polyelectrolyte Brushes” Accounts of Chemical Research, 2012, 45, 1927-1935.

Daniels, C.; Kisley, L.; Kim, H.; Chen, W.; Vivek, M.; Reznik, C.; Kourentzi, K.; Willson, R.C.; Landes, C.F. “Single-molecule Observations of Protein Interactions with Clustered-charge Peptide Adsorbates” J. Molecular Recognition, 2012, 25, 435-442.

Landes, C.F.; Rambhadran, A.; Taylor, J.N.; Salatan, F.; Jayaraman, V. “Structural Landscape of the Isolated Agonist Binding Domain of the AMPA Receptor Studied by Single Molecule FRET”, Nature Chemical Biology, 2011, 7, 168-173.

Daniels, C.R.; Reznik, C.; Kilmer, R.; Felipe, M.J.; Tria, M.C.R.; Kourentzi, K.; Willson, R.C.; Advincula, R.C.; Landes, C.F. “Permeability of Anti-Fouling Pegylated Surfaces Probed by Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy” Colloids and Surfaces, 2011, 88, 31-38.

Taylor, J.N.; Landes, C.F. “Improved Resolution of Complex Single-Molecule FRET Systems via Wavelet Shrinkage” J. Phys. Chem. B 2011, 115, 1105-1114.

Daniels, C.R.; Reznik, C.; Landes, C.F. “Dye Diffusion at Surfaces: Charge Matters” Langmuir, 2010, 26, 4807-4812.

Taylor, J. N.; Makarov, D.E.; Landes, C.F. “Denoising Single-Molecule FRET Trajectories with Wavelets and Bayesian Inference” Biophys. J., 2010, 98, 164-173.

Reznik, C.; Estillore, N.; Advincula, R.; Landes, C.F. “Single Molecule Spectroscopy Reveals Heterogeneous Ion Transport in a Polyelectrolyte Polymer Brush” J. Phys. Chem. B  2009, 113, 14611-14618. 

Tcherniak, A.; Reznik, C.; Link, S.; Landes, C.F. "Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy: Criteria for Analysis in Complex Systems" Analytical Chem., 2009, 81, 746-754.



Landes Research Group

  • B.S. Chemistry (1998) George Mason University
  • Ph.D. Chemistry and Biochemistry (2003) Georgia Institute of Technology
    • • Interfacial dynamics at the single molecule scale • Separation and purification at the single analyte scale • Image processing and analysis development • Nanomaterials/biomolecular surface chemistry • Plasmonic materials surface chemistry • Biophysics of dynamic structure-function relationships • Single molecule spectroscopy methods development
    Email: cflandes@rice.edu
    Phone: (713) 348-4232
    Office: Dell Butcher Hall, 352