Interdisciplinary Life Science - PULSe Great research is a matter of choice

Mathew Tantama

Mathew Tantama Profile Picture

Assistant Professor of Chemistry
B.S. Chemistry; B.S. Mathematics; Ph.D. Biological Chemistry; Postdoc. Neurobiology & Protein Engineering


Contact Info:

mtantama@purdue.edu
(765) 494-5312


Training Group(s):
Molecular Signaling and Cancer Biology
Chemical Biology
Integrative Neuroscience


Current Research Interests:

We use protein engineering to develop optical tools that can be used to probe or perturb the biochemistry of living cells. One of our major goals is to develop genetically-encoded biosensors, using fluorescent protein technology.  We are engineering biosensors to detect a wide range of analytes that are found both inside and outside the cell.  We are also engineering biosensors with a range of spectral properties. By building a toolset of many biosensors with wide color options, we can monitor multiple physiological processes simultaneously in the same living cell.

We also use optical tools in combination with live-cell microscopy to study metabolic and oxidative stress in neurons and glia. These stresses occur during normal brain function to different extents in different cell types, depending on their intrinsic physiology and on their tissue context. Furthermore, cell-to-cell differences in stress loads and mechanisms to deal with stress may be linked to susceptibility to injury or disease. For example, why are a subset of neurons more susceptible to neurodegeneration during the progression of Parkinson’s Disease?



Selected Publications:

M. Tantama, J.R. Martínez-François, R. Mongeon, G. Yellen. Nat. Commun. 4, 2550. (2013) Imaging energy status in live cells with a fluorescent biosensor of the intracellular ATP-to-ADP ratio.

M. Tantama, Y.P. Hung, G. Yellen. J. Am. Chem. Soc.  133, 10034-10037. (2011) Imaging intracellular pH in live cells with a genetically-encoded red fluorescent protein sensor.

Y.P. Hung, J.G. Albeck, M. Tantama, G. Yellen. Cell Metab. 14,545-54. (2011) Imaging cytosolic NADH-NAD(+) redox state with a genetically encoded fluorescent biosensor.

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