BIOE: Polly Fordyce - "Using microfluidics to understand how proteins find and bind their cellular targets"

Speaker Polly Fordyce, Assistant Professor, Departments of Genetics and Bioengineering; Fellow, ChEM-H Institute, Stanford University, California
Date: 4/17/2018
Time: 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

2240 Digital Computer Lab, 1304 W Springfield Avenue, Urbana, IL

Event Contact: Lisa Leininger

Department of Bioengineering

Event Type: Seminar/Symposium

"Using microfluidics to understand how proteins find and bind their cellular targets"

Abstract: Recent technological advances have led to an explosion in our knowledge of the macromolecular parts that exist within cells.  The next great biological challenge lies in making quantitative measurements of the interactions between them and developing biophysical models that allow us to predict their cellular consequences.  To address this, we have developed two new microfluidic tools that retain the quantitative aspects of traditional, one-at-a-time measurements while dramatically increasing their throughput.  The first tool (MITOMI) consists of a microfluidic platform that enables quantitative measurement of binding affinities and kinetics for up to 4,000 interactions in parallel.  We are currently combining this platform with deep sequencing to understand how transcription factors find their genomic targets, and adapting it for high-throughput enzymology measurements with the goal of improving enzyme design.  The second tool is a microfluidic platform for producing spectrally encoded beads with an extremely large potential coding space, which we are currently using to understand how proteins involved in cell signaling find their target substrates.

About the Speaker: Polly Fordyce is an Assistant Professor of Genetics and Bioengineering and fellow of the ChEM-H Institute at Stanford, where her laboratory focuses on developing and applying new microfluidic platforms for quantitative, high-throughput biophysics and biochemistry. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with undergraduate degrees in physics and biology before moving to Stanford University, where she earned a Ph.D. in physics for work with Professor Steve Block developing instrumentation and assays for single-molecule studies of kinesin motor proteins. For her postdoctoral research, she worked with Professor Joe DeRisi to develop a new microfluidic platform for understanding how transcription factors recognize and bind their DNA targets as well as a new technology for bead-based multiplexing. She is the recipient of a number of awards, including an NIH New Innovator Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, a McCormick and Gabilan Fellowship, an NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00), and a Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellowship, and was recently named a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator.



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