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Ryan Riskowski

Molecular Biophysics Graduate Student
Major Professor: Dr. Geoffrey Strouse

Lab: 2503 CSL (Chemical Sciences Laboratory)
E-mail: rar10g@my.fsu.edu


My research is into the uses of the optical properties of metal and semiconductor nanoparticles to track intracellular events, monitor intracellular environments, and measure conformational dynamics of intracellular proteins, RNA and DNA. My current projects include:

-The use of confocal microscopy to track the delivery of engineered genes into isolated cells using nanoparticles as delivery vehicles. By monitoring the dynamics of these nanoparticle-gene delivery agents being taken up into cells, delivering their genetic payload, and tracking the levels of gene expression, we can understanding how to control the design of nanoparticle-gene constructs to improve efficacy.

-The use of sub-nanosecond laser optics to probe the physics of resonant energy transfer taking place between fluorescent labels interacting with noble metal nanoparticles. By expanding our theoretical understanding of this optically trackable and distance-dependent energy transfer, we can develop multicolor “fluorescent rulers” to extract complex spatial information from experiments such as optically monitoring the conformational dynamics of labeled intracellular proteins or RNA and DNA.

B.S. Physics, 2010, University of Nebraska at Omaha