Biochemistry 494-A

Fluorescence as a Probe of Biological Structure and Function
Organized by: GOVINDJEE


 These web pages deal with fluorescence as a probe of biochemical and biophysical reactions in several biological systems. Fluorescence is an intrinsic, non-invasive and highly sensitive probe of biological reactions. In addition, fluorescence of chromophores is used to monitor excitation energy migration and transfer. In these pages, we will examine the principles and the methods for measuring the lifetime, quantum yields, polarization, action and emission spectra of fluorescence in several biological systems. Examples will be taken from biology and medicine

Click here to see references for reviews on "Fluorescence of Single Molecules" from Science (March 12, 1999)


Office: 283 Morrill Hall
Telephone: 217-333-1794

Lecture Topics and Dates

March 25

April 1

April 8

April 15

April 22

April 29


 Lecture Topics

(1)General Introduction: Definition of Fluorescence; a bit of history; (2)Franck-Condon Principle; (3)Förster Theory of Energy Transfer (Govindjee:

Use of fluorescence as a probe of photosynthesis 

Life of an excited molecule 
(Robert Clegg:

Excitation energy transfer and its use in biochemistry/biology
(Robert Clegg:

Application of fluorescence to muscles and neurons 
(Paul Selvin:

Use of green- protein fluorescence in looking at the movement of chromosomes 
(Andrew Belmont:

*Two additional meetings will be added during the course. Dates are yet to be determined.
We will take a field trip to the Laboratory of Fluorescence Dynamic (LFD) in the Physics Department.
[1] Dr. T.L. Hazlett will give a lecture/demonstration of various instruments to measure lifetime;  anisotropy; stopped-flow, spectra, etc
[2] Professor William Mantulin will give a lecture/demonstration of the advances in "two-photon"  experiments; fluorescence microscopy; and use of scattering in detecting breast cancer.

References for lecture topics provided under the date's link.  Information pertaining to the lecture found under the topic links

List of Some Books on Fluorescence and its Application

* Both are in the UIUC bookstore, and they are both available as paperbacks.,

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Updated April 18, 1999