Welcome to Biomed Bites, a weekly feature that introduces readers to some of Stanford’s most innovative biomedical researchers.
Before all things “x”, there was Bio-X, Stanford’s groundbreaking interdisciplinary facilitator. But did you know it got its start thanks to a quest to understand myosin, the molecular motor that drives cellular movement?
Neither did I, until I watched this video with James Spudich, PhD, professor of biochemistry. Here he tells the tale, which involves a unique collaboration — and student exchange — between the Departments of Biochemistry and of Physics, and between Spudich and Bio-X co-founder Steven Chu, PhD (the former U.S. Secretary of Energy and Nobel laureate), a partnership that produced insight into the functioning of myosin as well as Bio-X.
“We had to invent new ways to approach the problem in order to understand how these motors really work,” Spudich says in the video above.
Invent new ways, they did. And now, that invention has given birth to scores more.
Learn more about Stanford Medicine’s Biomedical Innovation Initiative and about other faculty leaders who are driving biomedical innovation here.
Previously: Stanford molecular-motor maven Jim Spudich wins Lasker Award, Close-up look at mutinous mutant molecule implicated in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and They said “Yes”: The attitude that defines Stanford Bio-X