Events

Co-sponsored Faculty Seminar Series Presents: Neel Joshi, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering Harvard University, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Wed., Feb. 28, 2018 @ 11am in Elings Hall #1601

Wed., Feb. 28, 2018 @ 11am in Elings Hall #1601

Neel Joshi, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Harvard University, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Elings Hall #1601

11am-12 noon

*Light refreshments will be provided*

Host: Michael Mahan & Dan Morse 

Biological Fabricated Materials Composed of Engineered Biofilm Matrix Proteins 

The intersection between synthetic biology and materials science is an underexplored area with great potential to positively affect our daily lives, with applications ranging from manufacturing to medicine. My group is interested in harnessing the biosynthetic potential of microbes, not only as factories for the production of raw materials, but as fabrication plants that can orchestrate the assembly of complex functional materials. We call this approach “biologically fabricated materials”, a process whose goal is to genetically program microbes to assemble materials from protein-based building blocks without the need for time consuming and expensive purification protocols or specialized equipment. Accordingly, we have developed Biofilm Integrated Nanofiber Display (BIND), which relies on the biologically directed assembly of biofilm matrix proteins of the curli system in E. coli. We demonstrate that bacterial cells can be programmed to synthesize a range of functional materials with straightforward genetic engineering techniques. The resulting materials are highly customizable and easy to fabricate, and we are investigating their use for practical uses ranging from bioremediation to engineered therapeutic probiotics.