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K-State Today

October 21, 2019

Phillip Klebba to present Anatomy and Physiology Seminar

Submitted by Gail Eyestone

Phillip Klebba, university distinguished professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics, will present "Universal fluorescent sensors of high-affinity ligand binding, for analysis of bacterial pathogenesis and other applications" as part of the Anatomy and Physiology Seminar series. His presentation will be at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, in the Mara Conference Center, 407 Trotter Hall.

Klebba's areas of specialty are iron acquisition by active transport through the cell envelopes of bacteria, immunological approaches to bacterial pathogenesis, and biophysical analyses of bacterial membrane transport in living cells.

The thin biological membranes between a cell's interior and its environment encompass many indispensable functions. Most fundamentally, they create an inward flow of nutrients to supply metabolic precursors for the biochemical pathways that constitute life. But, transport is a selective phenomenon: not all molecules penetrate into cells, because membranes create a permeability barrier that attunes each cell to its individual environment. This acquisition of desirable substances and rejection of undesirable or noxious compounds is a focal point of his team's research. Klebba and colleagues are biochemically characterizing active transport processes that internalize compounds against their natural concentration gradients. The electrochemical potential created by ion gradients across membrane bilayers often powers such thermodynamically unfavorable uptake reactions.