Lori Goldner


Research areas include single-molecule sensitive fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and alternating laser excitation (ALEX). Molecular force measurements with optical tweezers. Fluorescence lifetime and polarization anisotropy lifetime measurements. Microfluidics and droplet fluidics. RNA loop-loop interactions and RNA/protein interactions. Molecular assembly.

Current Research

My lab develops tools and techniques for measuring and manipulating single biomolecules or biomolecular complexes. These techniques give us the ability to directly validate molecular models, to detect rare species or interactions, and to directly observe the biomolecular mechanisms that underlie the development of disease and immune response. For example, we study an RNA interaction and potential drug target that is critical for HIV replication. We also have an interest in understanding the earliest stages of molecular assembly or fibril formation that plays a role in many neurodegenerative diseases.

A unique aspect of my work is the use of nanodroplet technology to segregate and confine individual molecules or small ensembles of molecules. We are developing a nanodroplet array device for high-throughput single-molecule-sensitive screens and studies (NSF/MCB 0920139 and NSF/DBI-1152386).

Currently we are studying RNA loop-loop “kissing” interactions, which are ubiquitous in regulatory and enzymatic function of RNA. It is frequently the case that these complexes are transiently bound by a protein, with structural consequences for the RNA complex. Two examples are under study, including a region of the dimerization initiation site in HIV. Another system is derived from the RI-RII system of the ColE1 plasmid of E. coli, which is among the earliest models for the regulatory function of RNA. Recently we have had success in visualizing a subtle conformational change in a kissing complex upon binding of the Rop protein, which modulates the kissing interaction (funded by NSF/MCB 0920139).

Learn more at people.umass.edu/lgoldner/research.html

Academic Background

  • PhD University of California at Santa Barbara, 1991
  • AB Cornell University, 1984
“Single-Molecule-Sensitive FRET in Attoliter Droplets,” Peker Milas, Sheema Rahmanseresht, Kieran P. Ramos, Ben D. Gamari, Lori S. Goldner,
Book Chapter – “Application of Single-Molecule Fluorescence in RNA Biology,” Li, P.T.X. and Goldner, L. in RNA Nanotechnology, Ed. B. Wang, Pan Stanford Publishing, (2014). ISBN: 9789814411646
“Indocyanine Dyes Approach Free Rotation at the 3′ Terminus of A-RNA: A Comparison with the 5′ Terminus and Consequences for Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer,” P. Milas, B.D. Gamari, L. Parrot, B.P. Krueger, S. Rahmanseresht, J. Moore, L.S. Goldner, J. Phys. Chem. B, 117 (29), 8649-8658 (2013).
Generation and Mixing of Subfemtoliter Aqueous Droplets On Demand” J.Tang, A.M. Jofre, R.B. Kishore, J.E. Reiner, M.E. Greene, G.M. Lowman, J.S. Denker, C. Willis, K. Helmerson, and L.S. Goldner, Analytical Chemistry, 81 (19), 8041–8047 (2009).
Contact Info

Department of Physics
Hasbrouck 407A
666 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003

(413) 545-0594