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Colin David Heyes

Colin David Heyes

Associate Professor, Physical Chemistry

J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences

(CHBC)-Chemistry & Biochemistry

Phone: 479-575-5607

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We are a spectroscopy group studying biomolecules and nanomaterials at the single molecule level. Single Molecule Spectroscopy is a very powerful way to analyze heterogeneity and intrinsic complexity since it allows us to build up a picture of what is happening in an ensemble (sample), one molecule at a time. 
As an analogy, think about how one goes about selecting the best players for a sports team. First, you need to find out what skills a player has individually (a single molecule) and then find out how those skills are used in the team (ensemble).

We are interested in understanding the physical principles that underlie interactions between biomolecules and how they relate to function (an area called biophysics). We are particularly investigating biomolecules that are involved in diseases such as cancer, in protein targeting and in solar energy conversion (photosynthesis). These are all complex problems since many “players” are involved, all possessing a range of “skills”.

We are also synthesizing and studying new nanomaterials. These nanomaterials are mainly used to help us with our biophysical studies, but they also have wide-ranging applications in energy conversion, miniaturized optoelectronics, sensors, and many other potential devices. For these materials to be useful in such applications, we need to understand their complex spectroscopic properties at the single particle level.

The following techniques are used for our single molecule experiments:

  • Scanning Confocal Fluorescence Microscopy (SCFM)
  • Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy (TIRFM)
  • Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM)
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
  • Single molecule Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SM SERS)

Data are analyzed using the following techniques:

  • Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) Efficiency
  • Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS)
  • Image Correlation Spectroscopy (ICS)
  • Statistical analysis of time durations (Histogram binning)
  • Colocalization and Cross-Correlation analysis
  • Single Particle Tracking (SPT)

McGill University, Montreal, Canada 2007-2008

Human Frontiers Science Program (HFSP) Fellowship, University of Ulm, Germany

Postdoctoral: Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, University of Ulm, Germany

Ph.D., (Bio) Physical Chemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology

B.S., Chemistry, Loughborough University, United Kingdom

Marion G. Götz, Hiroko Takeuchi, Matthew J. Goldfogel, Julia M. Warren, Brandon D. Fennell, and Colin D. Heyes. Visible-Light Photocatalyzed Cross-Linking of Diacetylene Ligands by Quantum Dots to Improve Their Aqueous Colloidal Stability. (2014) J. Phys Chem B. ASAP Article.

Hiroko Takeuchi, Benard Omogo, and Colin D Heyes. Are Bidentate Ligands Really Better than Monodentate Ligands For Nanoparticles? (2013) Nano Lett. 13, 4746-4752.

Feng Gao, Adam Kreidermacher , Ingrid Fritsch , and Colin D Heyes. 3D Imaging of Flow Patterns in an Internally-Pumped Microfluidic Device: Redox Magnetohydrodynamics and Electrochemically-Generated Density Gradients. (2013) Anal. Chem. 85, 4414-4422.

Benard Omogo, Jose F. Aldana and Colin D. Heyes, Radiative and Non-Radiative Lifetime Engineering of Quantum Dots in Multiple Solvents by Surface Atom Stoichiometry and Ligands. (2013) J. Phys. Chem. C. 117, 2317-2327.Gopa Mandal, Molly Darragh, Y. Andrew Wang, and Colin D. Heyes. Cadmium-Free Quantum Dots as Time-Gated Bioimaging Probes in Highly-Autofluorescent Human Breast Cancer Cells (2013) Chem. Commun. 49, 624-626.

Nela Durisic, Antoine G. Godin, Claudia M. Wever, Colin D. Heyes, Melike Lakadamyali, and Joseph A. Dent. Stoichiometry of the Human Glycine Receptor Revealed by Direct Subunit Counting. (2012) J. Neurosci. 32, 12915-12920.

Nela Durisic, Antoine G. Godin, Derrel Walters, Peter Grütter, Paul W. Wiseman and Colin D. Heyes. Probing the “Dark” Fraction of Core–Shell Quantum Dots by Ensemble and Single Particle pH-Dependent Spectroscopy. (2011) ACSNano, 5, 9062-9073.

Nela Durisic, Paul W. Wiseman, Peter Grütter and Colin D. Heyes. A Common Mechanism Underlies the Dark Fraction Formation and Fluorescence Blinking of Quantum Dots. (2009) ACSNano, 3, 1167-1175.