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College of Engineering

MolES Seminar: Dr. Kevin Plaxco (University of California - San Diego)
MolES Seminar: Dr. Kevin Plaxco (University of California - San Diego)
WhenTuesday, Nov 20, 2018, 1 – 2 p.m.
Campus locationMolecular Engineering (MOL)
Campus roomNanoES 181
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsMolecular Engineering and Sciences

Molecular Engineering and Sciences Seminar Series
Counting molecules, dodging blood cells: continuous, real-time molecular measurements directly in the living body

The availability of technologies capable of tracking the levels of drugs, metabolites, and biomarkers in real time in the living body would revolutionize our understanding of health and our ability to detect and treat disease. Imagine, for example, a dosing regime that, rather than relying on your watch (“take two pills twice a day”), is instead guided by second-to-second measurements of plasma drug levels wirelessly communicated to your smartphone. Such a technology would likewise provide clinicians an unprecedented window into organ function and could even support ultra-high-precision personalized medicine in which drug dosing is optimized minute-by-minute using closed-loop feedback control. Towards this goal, we are developing a biomimetic, aptamer-based electrochemical sensor platform that supports the high frequency, real-time measurement of specific molecules (irrespective of their chemical reactivity) in situ in the bodies of awake, freely moving subjects.

Bio: Kevin Plaxco is a Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, with shared appointments between the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and the Biomolecular Science and Engineering Graduate Program. Prof. Plaxco also serves as Director of campus’s Center for Bioengineering. Prior to joining UCSB in 1998 Dr. Plaxco received his Ph.D. from Caltech and performed postdoctoral studies at Oxford and the University of Washington. Dr. Plaxco’s research focus is on the physics of protein folding and its many and varied engineering applications. A major aim of the group’s applied research is to harness the speed and specificity of folding in the development of sensors, adaptable surfaces, and smart materials. Dr. Plaxco has co-authored a dozen patents and more than 200 papers on protein folding, protein dynamics, and folding-based sensors and materials, and is recognized by Thomson Reuters at one of the most highly cited chemists of the prior decade. He serves on the scientific boards of a half dozen biotechnology firms (several of which are commercializing technologies developed by his group), and has also written a popular science book on Astrobiology.

This weekly seminar brings together students, faculty and invited guests from various disciplines across campus to explore current trends in molecular engineering and nanotechnology. It is a forum for active interdisciplinary discussions. These talks are open to the public and attract a diverse audience of students and faculty.…
Printed: Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 1:47 AM PDT