Douglas Youvan, 2010
January 29, 1955 |
|Institutions||MIT and Kairos Scientific Inc.|
|Alma mater||University of California, Berkeley|
|Known for||Biophysics of photosynthesis and evolution; discrete mathematics|
Youvan was an Associate Professor of Chemistry at MIT, where he specialized in the study of photosynthesis, specifically the spectral analysis of photosynthetic bacteria. Youvan, along with Mary M. Yang, developed instrumentation to study the spectra of bacteria directly from a petri dish. Their technology was later employed by NASA.
He founded Karios Scientific Inc. together with Mary M. Yang. Due to a docketing error, Kairos lost its patent rights to KCAT, an instrument used for screening enzyme kinetics on microcolonies. Kairos' lawsuit against Fish and Richardson ends with California Supreme Court case S141615, with a remand and instructions resulting in a $34.5 million award to Kairos. The Wayback_Machine indicates the extensive Kairos website has been thoroughly archived and that it operated from 1996 to 2013. As of early 2014, Kairos' attempt at an on-line journal, Biotechnology et alia, is still operational and carries several of Youvan's publications.
Youvan's work on proteins that interact with light is referenced in two Nobel Prize Lectures: by Roger Y. Tsien on GFP and by Diesenhofer and Michel for photosynthetic reaction centers. According to Google Scholar, as of 2014, Youvan is referenced in 4600 other publications.
In a 1984 publication with John E. Hearst, and in collaboration with Barry L. Marrs, Youvan published the nucleotide and deduced protein sequence for the photosynthetic reaction center – the proteins that convert light to chemical energy in photosynthetic organisms. This work correctly predicted the secondary structure of the 11 transmembrane helices of the reaction center as confirmed by X-ray crystallography. In 1987 Youvan and E. Bylina constructed the first site-directed mutants of bacterial reaction centers. Later collaborative work with ultra-fast laser laboratories helped yield evidence for a vibrational coherence in the sub-picosecond processes of photosynthetic charge separation. International collaborative work was funded by a Human Frontier Science Program Award.
Youvan and his students have also worked in the field of combinatorial mutagenesis which can be used for directed evolution of proteins, such as enzymes. At MIT, they discovered a pattern in the genetic code that is correlated with amino acid residue hydropathy and molar volume.
Youvan has also published research in the fields of digital imaging spectroscopy for absorption spectra and fluorescence, including Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET). Zeiss has incorporated "Youvan's Method" into their Axiomat microscope for algorithmic deconvolution of the actual FRET signal in an image (such as GFP interactions) from interfering donor and acceptor spectral signals.
-  spinoff.nasa.gov, From Planetary Imaging to Enzyme Screening
- Youvan, DC; Hearst, JE (1979). "Reverse transcriptase pauses at N2-methylguanine during in vitro transcription of Escherichia coli 16S ribosomal RNA". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 76 (8): 3751–4. doi:10.1073/pnas.76.8.3751. PMC 383911. PMID 91169.
- Youvan, DC; Hearst, JE (1981). "A sequence from Drosophila melanogaster 18S rRNA bearing the conserved hypermodified nucleoside am psi: analysis by reverse transcription and high-performance liquid chromatography". Nucleic Acids Research 9 (7): 1723–41. doi:10.1093/nar/9.7.1723. PMC 326793. PMID 6164994.
- Youvan, DC; Bylina, EJ; Alberti, M; Begusch, H; Hearst, JE (1984). "Nucleotide and deduced polypeptide sequences of the photosynthetic reaction-center, B870 antenna, and flanking polypeptides from R. capsulata.". Cell 37 (3): 949–57. doi:10.1016/0092-8674(84)90429-X. PMID 6744416.
- Govindjee (2005). Discoveries in Photosynthesis. Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration 20. Springer-Verlag. p. 58.
- Vos, MH; Lambry, JC; Robles, SJ; Youvan, DC; Breton, J; Martin, JL (1991). "Direct observation of vibrational coherence in bacterial reaction centers using femtosecond absorption spectroscopy.". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 88 (20): 8885–9. doi:10.1073/pnas.88.20.8885. PMC 52615. PMID 1924348.
- "AWARD YEAR 1991 – "Molecular" Research Grants".
- Arkin, AP; Youvan, DC (1992). "An algorithm for protein engineering: simulations of recursive ensemble mutagenesis.". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 89 (16): 7811–5. doi:10.1073/pnas.89.16.7811. PMC 49801. PMID 1502200.
- Delagrave, S; Goldman, ER; Youvan, DC (1993). "Recursive ensemble mutagenesis.". Protein engineering 6 (3): 327–31. doi:10.1093/protein/6.3.327. PMID 8506267.
- Yang, MM; Coleman, WJ; Youvan, DC (1990). ME, Michel-Beyerle, ed. Reaction centers of photosynthetic bacteria: Feldafing-II-Meeting 6. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. pp. 209–18. ISBN 3-540-53420-2.
- Füllen, G; Youvan, DC (1994). "Genetic Algorithms and Recursive Ensemble Mutagenesis in Protein Engineering". Complexity International 1.
- Arkin, AP; Goldman, ER; Robles, SJ; Goddard, CA; Coleman, WJ; Yang, MM; Youvan, DC (1990). "Applications of imaging spectroscopy in molecular biology. II. Colony screening based on absorption spectra.". Bio/technology (Nature Publishing Company) 8 (8): 746–9. doi:10.1038/nbt0890-746. PMID 1366901.
- Youvan, Douglas C.; Silva, Christopher M.; Bylina, Edward J.; Coleman, William J.; Dilworth, Michael R.; Yang, Mary M. (1997). "Calibration of Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer in Microscopy Using Genetically Engineered GFP Derivatives on Nickel Chelating Beads". Biotechnology et alia 3: 1–18.