EPFL BioE Talks SERIES "Leveraging Microfluidics for High-Throughput Biophysics, Biochemistry, and Single-Cell Biology"


Event details

Date 19.10.2020
Hour 16:0016:30
Speaker Prof. Polly Fordyce, Stanford University, Stanford, CA (USA)
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars

(note that this talk is number one of a double-feature seminar - see details of the second talk here)

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 three new microfluidic platforms that retain the quantitative aspects of traditional, one-at-a-time measurements while dramatically increasing their throughput. The first platform (HT-MEK, for High-Throughput Microfluidic Enzyme Kinetics) allows quantitative measurement of thermodynamic and kinetic constants for up to 1,500 different enzymes simultaneously. In recent work, we have applied HT-MEK to map the functional effects of amino acid substitutions throughout the enzyme scaffold of a model alkaline phosphatase and discovered surprising evidence that large contiguous groups of residues function in concert to tune particular aspects of catalysis.  The second platform (MRBLEs, for Microspheres with Ratiometric Barcode Lanthanide Encoding) is built around spectrally barcoded polymer beads with a large potential coding space (>1,100 unique codes), which we have applied towards high-throughput measurement of protein/protein interaction affinities and low-cost and sensitive multiplexed pathogen detection. The third platform (Dropception) allows ultra-high-throughput encapsulation of single cells within FACS-sortable double emulsion droplets. Together, we hope that these new measurement technologies can be applied to address a broad range of biological questions, from understanding the determinants of molecular interaction specificity to profiling single cell state.

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 and single-cell genomics. 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 and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, and is a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator.

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California San Francisco, Biophysics (2014)
Ph.D., Stanford University, Physics (2007)
B.A., University of Colorado at Boulder, Physics, Biology (2000)

Zoom link (with registration) for attending remotely: https://go.epfl.ch/EPFLBioETalks

IMPORTANT NOTICE: due to restrictions resulting from the ongoing Covid-19 situation, this seminar can be followed via Zoom web-streaming only, following prior one-time registration through the link above.

Practical information

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