- Advisor: Javier Read de Alaniz
- Department: Chemistry and Biochemistry
- Campus: UCSB
- BioPACIFIC MIP Research: SET 3 - Functional Biomimics
What is your research focus?
My research focuses on using synthetic materials to mimic biological systems and phenomena. Specifically, my project is designing and synthesizing artificial photoswitching materials that change their geometrical and electrical properties in response to external stimuli in the application of reversible tuning self-assembly of proteins to change the resulting biomaterials’ reflection color and pattern. I believe my research interest is in good alignment with the SET 3 mission of Functional Biomaterials. We will apply the stimulus of light to change the pH value of our biomimetic material in an aqueous environment and to tune the color of reflectin protein found in the cephalopods, such as octopus, cuttlefish, and squid. The light-tuning color change of reflectin protein is mimicking the color changes of cephalopods in response to external environmental stimuli, which has important implications for a wide range of applications, such as new materials development, biocatalyst, and bio-inspired technology. By emulating nature in this way, this project can contribute to a better understanding of biomaterials and natural sustainable functional materials, which can generate new scientific knowledge and concept. It can also help us solve complex problems in various scientific fields through scientific practice and advancement. Our research endeavors will eventually benefit the environment and society.
What excites you about NSF BioPACIFIC MIP?
As a newcomer, I have unofficially participated in some sessions of BioPACIFIC MIP meetings and workshops in 2022, and I appreciated the valuable resources that BioPACIFIC MIP has provided. And now with the application window open, I am highly motivated to apply for joining the interdisciplinary and diverse research platform and community. By being immersed in such an interdisciplinary environment, I can become a better scholar by participating in the interdisciplinary research program and collaborating with the world’s leading scientists and engineers. Furthermore, I would regularly present my research progress, contribute to the scientific community, and get constructive criticism. Participating in the highly prestigious program, I believe it can broaden my scientific knowledge, enhance my critical thinking skills, foster me to approach research problems from different perspectives, and ultimately improve the overall quality of my research work. At the same time, by attending the workshop for Professional Development Meetings and engaging in peer-to-peer conversations, I can learn skills beyond the specific research area, which will contribute to my long-term career development, such as effective communication, collaboration, networking, and project management. These skills are highly valued in both academics and industries, and they will help me to stand out as a well-rounded candidate in the future job market.