Research

Learn more about ongoing research projects

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Biomineralization

We are developing the enzyme silicatein as a model system for production of metal oxide nanoparticles (as shown to the left), as well as investigating new microbial- and enzyme-based systems to produce advanced, functional inorganic materials.

Biosurfactants

We are developing protein-based biosurfactants such as hydrophobin (see figure to the right) as alternatives to chemical surfactants, with applications in drug delivery and formulation as well as developing new technologies for environmental and healthcare applications. We work closely with industrial partners such as Merck to inform both design and applications.

Bioremediation

We are developing protein-based tools to detect and remove PFAS from soil, water and foods, and investigating use of hemp (as shown on the left) and other plants as phytoremediation tools.

Transmembrane signaling

We are investigating interactions between SARS-CoV2 accessory proteins and host proteins involved in immune recognition, and developing tools and techniques to characterize receptor heterodimerization.

Antimicrobials

We have identified and engineered polysaccharide-degrading enzymes as tools to remove microbial biofilm and inhibit pathogenic bacterial growth (as shown on the left). Additionally, we have commercialized enzymes developed in lab for applications in pre- and post-harvest agriculture through Lytos Technologies, and collaborate with other external partners such as the USDA for applications in food safety.

Industrial hemp

In collaboration with external industrial partners such as Air Products, we are evaluating the use of cryogenic technologies to improve fiber (shown in the figure on the right), flower and seed processing for commercial applications. Additionally, in collaboration with other industrial partners we are investigating new therapeutic applications of minor cannabinoids as well as improved processing and formulation methods for a wide range of consumer products.