We are interested in promoting protein interactions with a host of biological and synthetic polymers for applications in protein stabilization, purification, and delivery as well as in biocatalysis and sustainable textiles. By facilitating these interactions we can combine the biological functionality of the protein with the physical properties of the polymeric materials. The projects will involve genetic engineering of model proteins to increase non-specific intermolecular interactions or to introduce specific binding interactions. These genetically engineered proteins will be produced in host organisms, such as E. coli, and then purified for materials characterization. As an example, protein net charge and charge distribution will be genetically engineered on fluorescent or enzymatic proteins to promote phase separation with nucleic acids. The phase behavior of the engineered proteins will be evaluated through fluorescence microscopy in vitro and/or in living cells. The student will work closely with another graduate student and meet regularly with the PI to discuss research goals and progress.
Lab: Obermeyer Research Group, 801 NWC
Direct Supervisor: Vivian Yeong or Olivia Zhu
Position Dates: 5/25/2021 - 8/6/2021
Hours per Week: 40
Paid Position: Yes
Qualifications: ideally students would know basic lab techniques, molecular biology, and protein engineering; however we are primarily looking for students that are enthusiastic and willing to learn and work diligently.
Eligibility: Sophomore, Junior, Master's (SEAS only)