- PhD, , California Institute of Technology
PO Box 400741
Biochemistry, Biophysics, Biotechnology
Amyloid inhibitors for Alzheimer?s disease, protein engineering, viral gene therapy, stem cell engineering, bio-inspired nanomaterials
Proteins play important roles in all kinds of biological systems from viruses to human beings. Therefore, understanding the function and structure of proteins in biological systems is a very interesting and challenging area for engineers as well as scientists. Recent advances in protein engineering tools, such as rational design, unnatural amino acid mutagenesis and high-throughput screening of proteins, facilitate design of proteins with novel structures and functions. Therefore, our research focuses on application of protein engineering tools to design novel genetically engineered peptides/proteins that will be used to cure diseases, deliver drugs, and produce novel biomaterials.
Our group is currently working with amyloids, proteins and viral gene delivery vehicles. Amyloids feature cross-stacked beta-sheet structure and are associated with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's . Our group is trying to modulate amyloid formation, which is very important for both neurodegenerative disease therapy, and understanding molecular mechanisms of amyloid formation.
Another main interest of our group is to engineer adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene delivery vehicles. AAV has been widely used in both basic research and clinical studies, due to its several favorable features including lack of pathogenicity, efficient infection of both dividing- and non-dividing cells, and long-term maintenance. However, AAV-based vectors should be modified further to be used in more diverse applications. Therefore, our group is working to design more effective AAV-based vectors and to evaluate delivery of novel genes for gene therapy application.