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Photoinduced Processes in Nucleic Acids and Proteins: Faraday Discussion

11 - 13 January 2018, Kerala, India


Light induced chemical and physical processes in small organic-/inorganic-/bio-molecules have been a subject of experimental and theoretical research for several decades. Recent advances in high resolution spatio-temporal techniques have offered detailed understanding of excited state processes in small molecules. In sharp contrast, however, information on electronic processes in biomolecules such as isolated proteins and DNA (and their complexes) is still in its infancy. Though extremely complicated to uncover, knowledge of photo-excited state processes of such biomolecules in the cellular/biological context is the eventual goal of scientists working in these areas.

Photochemical and photophysical processes in biomolecules are intimately involved in a multitude of functional processes, that include vision, photosynthesis, molecular recognition, gene replication, etc., and can be utilized in areas such as photodynamic therapy. Such processes in DNA are also of interest to both the biological and materials communities as memory devices and structural building blocks. Malign consequences of mis-function in higher life forms can include blindness (retinal pigmentosa), as well as photomutation leading, in DNA, to the primary cause of various types of cancer which (when light induced) can lead to melanomas.

At the higher level of biomolecular complexity, DNA-protein photolesions remain one of the least well characterised systems. Static and kinetic site-specific protein-DNA photocrosslinking has major implications for transcription in general, for the topology determinants specifically for RNA polymerase II transcription, and the mechanistic determinants of contacts involved in nucleoprotein complexes. Thus, description and detection of DNA–protein crosslinks (DPCs) by novel experimental, and explanation by theoretical, methods are timely topics for discussion. 


Light induced charge and energy transport in nucleic acids and proteins
Photoinduced charge transfer processes have been implicated in a variety of oxidative processes which ultimately lead to mutations, compromising the biological function of DNA. Recently efforts have been directed towards understanding the very first events, i.e. energy transfer, that take place between the absorption of UV radiation and chemical reactions. Such research aims to study how the UV energy is redistributed among the DNA bases (adenine, thymine, guanine, cytosine), altering their electronic structure, to determine configurations that are favourable to the specific reactions. Interpretation of the mechanism and dynamics of photoexcited state processes is of paramount importance to understanding DNA oxidative damage.
Proteins involved in i) visual sensing; ii) response to light and ii) electron transfer processes in a variety of organisms are subjects of great importance.
This session will discuss recent progress in the photoinduced processes related to proteins that are responsible for vision that include i) rhodopsin in the photoreceptor cells of the vertebrate ii) retina, phytochrome in plants, and bacteriorhodopsin and bacteriophytochromes in some bacteria. It will also consider the challenges of artificial retinas and replacement strategies for the retina. Malign effects such as photomutation of proteins etc. will also be included.

Photocrosslinking between nucleic acids and proteins
DNA-protein crosslinking remains the least understood DNA damage from a chemical point of view. DNA-protein crosslinking in human white blood cells is as high as 0.5–4.5 per 107 bases and is found to increase as a function of age. In addition to proteins and protein fragments, DNA undergoes photocrosslinking with bound drugs.
This session will bring out the mechanism, consequences, prevention and therapy for photocrosslinking of biomolecules.

Light induced damage and repair in nucleic acids and proteins
The mechanism and dynamics of photoinduced DNA and protein damage is critically important to our understanding of diseases associated with ultraviolet irradiation as well as to the development of photosensitized therapies. By virtue of the stacked arrangement of its nucleobases, DNA undergoes mutation at remote locations from the bound drug and/or photosensitized spot. Photoinduced inter-protein electron transfer is also responsible for various biological processes.
This session will highlight the consequences of photoinduced processes in DNA or proteins responsible for the onset of various types of disease (particularly melanoma cancer). In addition, this session will also deal with the photo-repair of nucleic acids and proteins.

George Church’s statement “Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves” gives us the promise of moving towards using biological molecules for material applications. The idea of using organic molecules for building electronic components dates back to the early 1970’s, but the study of the electrical properties of DNA goes back even further.
This session will encourage researchers to employ the biophysical aspects of DNA and proteins for the futuristic aspects of developing biomolecule-based sensors and electronic/photonic devices. Other challenges for the development of photonic devices include the design of covalent and non-covalent DNA-protein conjugates, and the exploration of such conjugates as suitable candidates for this application.


This Faraday Discussion aims to bring together many inter-disciplinary researchers working on diverse topics to a single, common platform. The Faraday Discussion format is an ideal forum to enable experimental and theoretical scientists from around the globe, working across the physics, chemistry and biology fields to discuss and debate these fundamental and challenging issues in multi-disciplinary biophysical science.


The Faraday Division have been organising high impact Faraday Discussions in rapidly developing areas of physical chemistry and its interfaces with other scientific disciplines for over 100 years.
Faraday Discussions have a special format where research papers written by the speakers are distributed to all participants before the meeting, and most of the meeting is devoted to discussing the papers. Everyone contributes to the discussion - including presenting their own relevant research.
The research papers and a record of the discussion are published in the journal Faraday Discussions.

Learn more about Faraday Discussions here:

The format of the Faraday Discussions meeting is ideal for discussions that cross the boundaries of emerging experimental technologies and theoretical approaches. An additional benefit of the meeting is to bring together established researchers in the field with emerging investigators.

Poster Prizes

There where 2 prizes awarded:
Beena Kumari - ITT Gandhinagar
Vinayak Bhat - ​Indian Institute of Science Education and Resarch Thiruvananthapuram
Abstract Submission

Oral Abstracts and Research Papers

A full research paper containing new unpublished results always accompanies oral presentations at Faraday Discussions. Submit an oral/paper abstract if you wish to be considered for an oral presentation and associated published paper. The oral/paper abstract should outline current research in progress. Authors of the selected abstracts must then submit a full research paper with a significant amount of new, unpublished work by 21 August 2017

The research papers are reviewed upon submission and are sent to all delegates 4 weeks before the meeting so they can be read in advance. At the meeting the presenting author is allowed five minutes to highlight the main points of their paper, and the rest of the time is for discussion. The discussion is recorded and will be published alongside the research paper in the Faraday Discussion Volume.

Poster Abstracts

Submit your poster abstract by 16 October 2017. Posters are displayed throughout the meeting and a poster session is held on the first evening. The Faraday Division Poster Prize will be awarded to the best poster presented by a student at the conference. 

Travel grants are available for PhD students, postdocs within 10 years of completing their PhD and early career scientists within 10 years of leaving full time education. There are also a number of non-competitive travel grants available. See the bursaries section for more details. 

Additional Information

Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 6 weeks of the submission deadline. The abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page in portrait layout. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting author and indicate whether you are submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation.

Registration information

Please read the registration information before registering.
You can register by clicking on the online registration link on this page.
Please note accommodation is not included in the registration fee.

Registration includes:
  • Attendance at the sessions 
  • Refreshments throughout the meeting
  • Lunch on all three days
  • Attendance at the poster drinks reception on Thursday 11 January 2018
  • Attendance at the conference dinner on Friday 12 January 2018
  • A copy of the discussion pre-prints (online or printed)
  • A copy of the final theme issue of Faraday Discussion Volume containing papers presented at the Discussion (issued approximately 6 months after the meeting)**
  • For non-member registrants, membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2018  
**Student registrants do not receive a copy of the volume included in their registration fee but are able to purchase the volume at a discounted rate.

Registration fees

Earlybird Standard
Non-member* INR 35,500 INR 39,500
Member INR 27,500 INR 31,500
Student non-member INR 15,000 INR 19,000
Student member INR 13,000 INR 17,000

*For non-member registrants, affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2017, the affiliate membership application will be processed and commence once the registrant has attended the event.
Local delegate registration fees***

Earlybird Standard
Local non-member INR 14,200 INR 15,800
Local member INR 11,000 INR 12,600
Local student non-member INR 6,000 INR 7,600
Local student member INR 5,200 INR 6,800

***Local delegates are those that live or work permanently in India. If you are eligible to register at the local delegate rate please insert FD18PPLOCAL60 when asked during the registration process.

Terms and Conditions for Events run by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Bursaries for poster presenting students and postdocs
Bursaries for poster presenting students and postdocs (in their first five years after completing their PhD) from developing countries are available, with a contribution towards registration fees depending on demand. If you would like to apply for support please email your CV together with the name and email address of your supervisor to by 6 November 2017.  Please also clearly state in your email if you fulfill the above criteria. Please also indicate if you have applied for any additional bursaries to attend this meeting.

RSC Member bursaries
We have a limited number of non-competitive travel grants of up to £200 for PhD and early career scientists travelling within their home country. These are assigned on a first come, first served basis and are available to members in the associate category and above.

We also offer grants of up to £800 to assist with travel expenses to participate at this meeting. These are available to members in the associate category and above, who are PhD students, postdocs within 10 years of completing their PhD and early career scientists (including technicians) within 10 years of leaving full time education. 

Applications should be submitted as early as possible; the deadline is 16 November 2017

If you have any questions relating to the grants please contact the Funding team.
Sponsorship & supporting organisations
A selection of sponsorship opportunities is available for companies who would like to promote their activities at Photoinduced Processes in Nucleic Acids and Proteins Faraday Discussion.

As well as booking a table top exhibition space, there are opportunities to sponsor social events, advertise in the abstract book or place a promotional item in delegate packs. For further information and prices please download the sponsorship menu from this page.

Please note that exhibition spaces are limited, spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

If you would like more information about sponsoring Photoinduced Processes in Nucleic Acids and Proteins Faraday Discussion, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry. 
The Residency Tower

The Residency Tower, Press Road, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, 695001, India

Organised by
The Faraday Division in association with:
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Trivandrum
Contact information
Nikita Gupta
Royal Society of Chemistry
Contact us by email

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