Congratulations to Dr. Gregory A. Hudalla, assistant professor in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, who was named a 2016 Young Innovator by the journal Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering (CMBE).
Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering, an official journal of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), publishes research that advances the study and control of mechanical, chemical, and electrical processes of the cell. Each year, the editors of CMBE dedicate the Young Innovators special issue to highlighting the work of assistant professors conducting innovative bioengineering research at the molecular, cellular, and multi-cellular level.
Hudalla’s research focuses on developing new methods to fabricate biomaterials with modular therapeutic or diagnostic capabilities via self-assembly of functional biomolecules, such as proteins and carbohydrates, into precise nano-scale architectures. In the 2016 CMBE Young Investigator issue, Hudalla and co-authors report on their work creating a pair of oppositely-charged synthetic peptides, referred to as “CATCH” (Co-assembly tags based on charge complementarity), to install folded proteins into self-assembling biomaterials. The two CATCH peptides were designed to spontaneously associate into elongated nano-scale fibers when combined in water, yet resist assembly with self-due to like-charge repulsion. This charge-controlled assembly enables efficient microbial production of “fusion proteins” consisting of a CATCH peptide linked to a protein having desirable functional property, such as fluorescence. In turn, CATCH fusion proteins can assemble into functional biomaterials, such as particles and gels, by simply mixing them with the charge-complementary CATCH peptide in water. Hudalla and co-authors envision that this platform will be broadly useful for creating functional biomaterials with interchangeable integrated folded protein components for various biomedical and biotechnological applications.
As a 2016 CMBE Young Innovator, Hudalla will present his research at the 2016 Annual Biomedical Engineering Society Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on October 7 in a special two-part platform session of the Bioengineering track.
Congratulations, Dr. Hudalla!