BioPACIFIC MIP Research: SET 3 - Functional Biomimics
What is your research focus?
My research projects broadly involve controlling the nanostructure and macroscopic properties of polypeptides through synthetic design. I have showcased in one project that these materials can be 3D printed with bacteria to make living materials and its macroscopic properties can be modulated with sequences of the polypeptide. Another project involves the use of supramolecular moieties in the polypeptide design to make self-assembling nanofibers. These nanofibers can be used as potential liquid crystal material for Bio3D printing of tissue constructs. Since I am attempting to mimic the extracellular membrane (ECM) in both projects, I think I align with SET 3 and its thrust to make 3D printable biomimics. Since polypeptide backbone is inherently biodegradable, these materials can be used as degradable materials for SET 4. I can benefit from the use of various instruments acquired from BioPACIFIC MIP such as: new X-ray beamline, Cellink’s BioX, Chemspeed, and micro-rheometer.
What excites you about NSF BioPACIFIC MIP?
I enjoy the programing BioPACIFIC MIP provided for the fellows and the summer school. I hope to attend more future professional development programing. I am also excited for the SETs and I hope to provide my expertise to these bigger projects. Hopefully without the worry of COVID, we can do more in person cross-campus collaborations and socials. I would also love the opportunity to attend the summer school again but this time in person. Thanks to BioPACIFIC MIP collaboration with UCLA, I am leading a high school class based on UCLA's hydrogel curriculum.