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Laura FinziProfessor

Awards and Honors

  • Co-Chair (2014) and Chair-elect (2015) of the "Nanoscale biophysics" subgroup of the biophysical Society.
  • Member of the Biophysical Society Executive Board, 2011-2013
  • Member of the Biophysical Society Program Committee, 2012-2014
  • Editorial Board Member, Biophysical Journal, 7/1/08 - 6/30/14 (two terms)
  • Moderator of the Cell Press podcast "Single Molecule Biology" presented by Steve Block, National Lecturer at the 2012 Biophysical Society Meeting
  • Member of the Biophysical Society Nomination Committee 2020


Research Area

Single-molecule biophysics of transcription regulation.

Research Interests

In collaboration with Dr. David Dunlap, my laboratory investigates the molecular mechanisms of transcription regulation using single-molecule techniques, such as the tethered particle motion technique (TPM), magnetic tweezers (MT), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and correlative confocal microscopy which combines a dual optical trap, single-molecule fluorescence detection and microfluidics. Current topics of interest are (i) genetic switches, (ii) the effect of molecular forces and DNA topology, such as super-coiling, or protein-mediated wrapping and looping, on transcription by RNA polymerase (a molecular machine), (iii) navigation through obstacles by RNA polymerase during RNA synthesis, (iv) the effect of molecular crowding on transcription and (v) DNA structural changes as a function of torsion, stiffness and chemical modifications.

These investigations involve also instrumentation and software development, and theoretical modeling. We formulate ad hoc computational and analytical models independently and in collaboration with theoretical physicists and mathematicians in order to validate, explain, and interpret the experimental data.


For additional information, please visit the Finzi/Dunlap web page at