BMCDB student receives NIH Biotech Fellowship
The NIH Training Program in Biomolecular Technology is a graduate level training grant awarded in recognition of the quality of multidisciplinary research and training provided by the campus. This Training Grant is 1 of 4 Biotechnology Training Programs in California. UC Davis joins Stanford, UCLA, and The Scripps Research Institute to form an elite group of biotechnology training programs. . The Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology (DEB) is the formal training program for the trainees and the UC Davis Biotechnology Program is the administrative home.
Scaffold protein engineering for optimization of GPCR (G protein coupled receptors), expression, NLP (nanolipoprotein particles) insertion and stoichiometry using a cell-free protein expression system. Silvia is currently working on the scaffold apolipoprotein clones (apoE3like, Apo E4, ApoAI delta1-23 and Apo AI delta 1-33) to improve co-expression, solubility and homogeneity of the GPCR/NLP complex. Structural and functional characterization of NLP-associated GPCR from the four different scaffold proteins will be done using CD (circular dichroism) and EPR (electroparamagnetic resonance) spectroscoscopy of established markers, to determine proper folding and response. The size, homogeneity and functionality of the generated SPr-NLP will be determined using Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS) and Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) in the Biophotonics Center. Biological activity will be determined using fluorescence and EPR based ligand-binding assays, with my later efforts directed towards engineering conformational markers (FRET or spin pairs) within the SPR to detect receptor activation.