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Medical Engineering Distinguished Seminar Series, Professor Ashutosh Chilkoti

Thursday, April 4, 2024
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Annenberg 105
Molecular Engineering of Biointerfaces and Intrinsically Disordered Proteins
Professor Ashutosh Chilkoti, Alan L. Kaganov Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Materials Science and Chemistry, Duke University,

I will describe two disparate projects in this talk that illustrate the diversity of ongoing work in my laboratory. In the first half, I will describe a point-of-care diagnostic—the D4 assay—that we have developed, in which all reagents are printed and stored on a "non-fouling"—protein and cell resistant—polymer brush. The D4 assay has no moving parts, does not require a cold-chain, and works from a single drop of blood with minimal user intervention, and measures the concentration of multiple analytes with a sub-picomolar limit of detection. In the second half, I will introduce synthetic intrinsically disordered proteins (SynIDPs) that are genetically encoded polymers of short peptide repeats that exhibit upper critical solution temperature (UCST) or lower critical solution temperature (LCST) phase behavior, like many naturally occurring IDPs. Because of their simplicity, the phase behavior of SynIDPs can be rationally tuned at the molecular level by control of their sequence, composition, and chain length. I will describe how SynIDPs can be used to develop simple but powerful tools for biotechnology and for the design of synthetic biomolecular condensates in live cells to control diverse cellular functions.

Biography: Ashutosh Chilkoti is the Alan L. Kaganov Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University. His areas of research include genetically encoded biomaterials, the development of synthetic biomolecular condensates for synthetic biology, and point-of-care clinical diagnostics. He has published ~350 papers, has been cited ~47,000 times, has a Google Scholar H-index of 114, and has 40 patents and 60 patent applications in process. Prof. Chilkoti was awarded the Clemson Award for Contributions to the Literature by the Society for Biomaterials in 2011, the Robert A. Pritzker Distinguished Lecture award by the Biomedical Engineering Society in 2013, was elected to the National Academy of Inventors in 2014, received the Distinguished Alumni award from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 2015, and the Diamond award from the College of Engineering at the University of Washington in 2017. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is the founder of five start-up companies, one of of which went public, and two were acquired.

Hosted by Lihong Wang

For more information, please contact Christine Garske by email at [email protected] or visit