Welcome to the Woodside Lab!
We study the “folding problem”—how biological molecules like nucleic acids and proteins self-assemble into the complex structures that are required for them to function correctly. By examining the dynamics of single molecules as they change structure, we aim to understand the mechanisms underlying folding, relate folding to function, and discern how folding can go wrong to cause disease. At the same time, we aim to develop more complete descriptions of folding as a physical process and test physical theories of folding quantitatively. We combine single-molecule force spectroscopy measurements using laser tweezers with fluorescence spectroscopy, biochemical assays, and computational simulations.