Elisa Franco, UCLA

13 January 2021, 4.00 PM - 13 January 2021, 5.00 PM

Zoom BBI webinar link: https://zoom.us/j/93991820977 Slido link: #63128

Programming dynamic behaviors in molecular systems and materials

Prof. Elisa Franco
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Zoom webinar link: https://zoom.us/j/93991820977
Slido meeting number: #63128 
Biological cells adapt, replicate, and self-repair in ways that are unmatched by man-made devices.  These processes are enabled by the interplay of receptors, gene networks, and self-assembling cytoskeletal scaffolds. Taking inspiration from this architecture, we follow a reductionist approach to build synthetic materials by interconnecting nucleic acid components with the capacity to sense, compute, and self-assemble. Nucleic acids are versatile molecules whose interactions and kinetic behaviors can be rationally designed from their sequence content; further, they are relevant in a number of native and engineered cellular pathways, as well as in biomedical and nanotechnology applications. I will illustrate our approach with two examples. The first is the construction of self-assembling DNA scaffolds that can be programmed to respond to environmental inputs and to canonical molecular signal generators such as pulse generators and oscillators. The second is the encapsulation of these dynamic scaffolds in droplets serving as a mimic of cellular compartments. I will stress how mathematical modeling and quantitative characterization can help identify design principles, guide experiments, and explain observed phenomena. 


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  • As an audience member you will be able to hear and see the speaker, hosts and chair, but you will not be able to use your own video and audio: Please use the Slido platform to pose questions. 
  • Remember there can be a slight lag, so the seminar may move at a slower pace.
  • If you notice any major issues please email k.sedgley@bristol.ac.uk or agatha.hewitt@bristol.ac.uk - we would also love your feedback post seminar.

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