Igor Lednev

  • Igor Lednev


    Dr. Lednev’s laboratory is specialized in building new instruments and developing methods based on advanced laser spectroscopy for structural characterization of biological specimens. Specifically, a Raman spectrograph with ultraviolet (UV) excitation capabilities has been built and utilized for studying the structure and dynamics of amyloid fibrils. In addition, polarized Raman spectroscopy has been utilized for the investigation of elongated species including fibrillar aggregates. The Lednev lab in collaboration with Prof. Burova combined quantum mechanical calculations and resonance Raman spectroscopy for the investigation of tautomeric composition of nucleic acid bases in water. A collaborative project with Prof. Agris has been initiated using resonance Raman spectroscopy for studying the structure of RNA with the goal to establish RNA structure–Raman spectrum relationships. We have already demonstrated that UV resonance Raman spectroscopy is uniquely suited to monitoring free energy changes of tRNA at the base-pair level during thermal denaturation. We thus hypothesize that systematic single nucleotide substitutions will provide unparalleled resolution in the monitoring of changes in single nucleotides. We have also demonstrated that UV Raman spectroscopy is a powerful tool for studying protein-RNA interactions since direct structural information could be obtained about both proteins and RNA simultaneously in a time-resolved and steady state manner.