BioPACIFIC MIP Research: SET 3 - Functional Biomimics; SET 4 - Degradation-optimized Materials
What is your research focus?
My current research focuses on comb polymer stabilization of coacervate microdroplets for potential use as enzymatic reactors, circumventing the need for live cells and aligning nicely with SET 3. I have spent significant time synthesizing these polymers with the goal of forming a library such that there is tunability in stabilizing properties, as well as potential degradability and pH and temperature responsiveness. However, due to setup, dialysis, and data analysis time and the many parameters that can be modulated, this process of library construction has been lengthy and would benefit from a high-throughput approach, aligning well with the goals of SET 4. In learning more about the resources available through BioPACIFIC MIP, I am hopeful that the ChemSpeed technology will be helpful in this aspect of my project. This will give me an opportunity to modify several parameters at once and run many reactions simultaneously, thereby creating this library of comb polymers much faster than I could on my own. In addition, there is a need for subsequent tests, such as testing the stability of the coacervate microdroplets by the comb polymers, which would similarly benefit from a high throughput approach. Using the Living BioFoundry will allow me to test the stability of our stabilized coacervate microdroplets and the kinetics and outputs of different enzymatic reactions within the droplets. I am excited by the many other experiments this technology would allow me to conduct and the ways in which the results will advance this area of research.
What excites you about NSF BioPACIFIC MIP?
I am very excited by the research opportunities that the BioPACIFIC MIP program presents, the resources that I will have access to, and the experiences I will gain if selected as a Fellow. Beyond the research opportunities, I look forward to advancing my technology skills and learning more about robotics and coding. These skills will help me in my future career immensely by exposing me to potential fields and ideas outside my current realm of research. I am also excited by the chance to advance myself professionally, network with other like-minded individuals, and travel to conferences to further enhance my science communication skills. On a more personal note, I recently attended the All-Hands meeting and was excited to hear about all the work being carried out in the BioPACIFIC MIP, and was also inspired by the passion that everyone brought to their work and how open and willing they were to collaborate. I will be honored to join such a talented and inspired group of people as a BioPACIFIC MIP Fellow.