476212 Engineering Proteins and Metabolic Pathways for Biomedical, Bioenergy, and Biomaterial Applications

Sunday, November 13, 2016
Continental 4 & 5 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Maryam Raeeszadeh-Sarmazdeh, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE

Research Interests:

Proteins play a key role in building, activating, and regulating what is essential in living organisms. From assembling pilin subunits on the Staphylococcus aureus cell surface, to generating cellulose microfibrils in Arabidopsis thaliana and converting carbon dioxide to methane in Methanosarcina barkeri, enzymes are the main actors in many biological processes. Therefore, understanding enzyme structure and function, and engineering enzyme stability and activity to generate novel bioengineering tools is crucial for solving many biomolecular engineering issues. Recent advances in molecular biology and protein engineering have created a platform to engineer enzymes as more efficient molecular “staplers” or “scissors” with higher activity and more specificity toward desired substrates. Furthermore, metabolic engineering methods are used to regulate enzymatic pathways for generating biofuel or other useful chemicals. My PhD and post-doctorate research has been focused on protein and metabolic engineering. Most of my research has evolved around controlling enzyme-mediated protein ligation and immobilization on the surface to generate site-specific protein assemblies, protein engineering using directed evolution and yeast surface display to create more efficient enzymes, as well as metabolic engineering to generate biofuel. As for my future plan, I intend to utilize recent genetic and protein engineering methods to create novel bioengineering tools with applications in bioenergy, biomedical, and biomaterial research.

Research Experience

Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Delaware

Projects: Engineering anaerobic methanogenic pathway to generate biofuels, Developing a light-activated enzyme.

Mentor: Dr. Wilfred Chen

PhD dissertation, University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Thesis: Engineering Sortase A for generating site-specific protein 3D assemblies

Advisor: Dr. Eric T. Boder

Teaching Interests:

Based on my training in teaching and research the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering courses that I am readily able to teach include Bioengineering Fundamentals, Transport Phenomena, and Mathematical Methods in Engineering. I am also able to develop new biochemical engineering courses in undergraduate or graduate level. These courses will be focused on molecular and cell biology, protein engineering, as well as metabolic engineering.

Extended Abstract: File Uploaded