Los esperamos este jueves 24 de mayo a las 13h al seminario Institucional que será dictado por el Dr. David Jameson, Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Hawai’i at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine.
Gregorio Weber’s research , born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1916, Weber completed his M.D. degree at the University of Buenos Aires in 1942, his career spanning more than half a century, was characterized by an unbroken chain of highly original and important contributions to fluorescence spectroscopy and protein chemistry. He n investigated the fluorescence of flavins and flavoproteins. Weber’s original observations were restricted to naturally fluorescent systems such as the flavins—the ultraviolet emission of proteins had not yet been discovered. His Ph.D. thesis, awarded by St. John’s College in Cambridge, titled “Fluorescence of Riboflavin, Diaphorase and Related Substances,”
represented the beginnings of a new scientific discipline, namely, the quantitative application of fluorescence spectroscopy to biochemistry. Weber was one of the true pioneers of protein dynamics. A study of his papers from the 1960s demonstrates that even then he regarded proteins as highly dynamic molecules. He rejected the view, common at that time after the appearance of the first x-ray structures, that proteins had a unique and rigid conformation. He introduced the use of molecular oxygen to quench fluorescence in aqueous solutions, which led to the detection, for the first time and to the surprise of many, of the existence of fast fluctuations in protein structures on the nanosecond time scale. The impact of this work was shown by the increasing interest in experimental and theoretical work in proteindynamics that followed. Weber’s early view that proteins in solution were “kicking and screaming stochastic models” has, in recent years, been fully y verified by both theoretical
and experimental studies. He became Professor Emeritus in 1986, but continued to conduct an active research program until his death. Throughout his life, Gregorio Weber never deviated from the path of intellectual honesty, rationality, and humanity and never lost the sense of wonder and adventure that science instilled in him during his formative years in Argentina.