BioPACIFIC MIP Research: SET 1 - Bioderived Materials
What is your research focus?
Through in silico search in public databases and rational selection, our team identified thousands of candidate bacteriophage coat protein sequences, whose peptides are responsible for binding to a broad range of bacteria. We plan to use a new overlap extension process to build a diverse library with non-similar sequences in a single batch process, which would expand the functional potential in next generation biological polymers. Separately, the library has potentials to target bacteria causing economic loss to various industries and diseases with antibiotics resistant properties. Filamentous phages with designed coat proteins properties can serve as bio-nanomaterials such as nanowires with responsive behavior to photons, electrons and other signals with superior properties like biocompatibility. Furthermore, the design, build, test cycles we implement in our study fit perfectly with the research concept at BioPACIFIC MIP.
What excites you about NSF BioPACIFIC MIP?
As a second-year graduate student, my involvement as a BioPACIFIC MIP Fellow introduced me to researchers whose experience could inspire my own work. From the bi-weekly meeting from last year, I have learned about others' work and ideas. It also helped me with access to facilities I was not aware of to improve my work’s quality. For example, I have been actively working with Dr. Michael Lake using the living biofoundry at UCLA CNSI to screen for antimicrobial candidates in high-throughput fashion through automation. Looking ahead, I’m interested in the networking opportunities as well as educational programs such as the summer school, allowing me to learn from others and better understanding how I can incorporate skill sets to prepare for a career. I plan to work in biotech after graduate school and BioPACIFIC MIP could provide me with precious networking experience to learn about other frontier research ideas with great application potentials. I would also love to help my fellow researchers explore entrepreneurial opportunities based on their research as well.