EPFL BioE Talks SERIES "Mechanical Engineering of Protein Therapeutics"


Event details

Date 14.03.2022
Hour 16:0017:00
Speaker Prof. Michael A. Nash, Department of Biosystems Science & Engineering, ETH Zurich, and Department of Chemistry, University of Basel (CH)
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English

Protein mechanical properties are known to play an important role in vivo, but are currently ignored in the development of engineered biotherapeutics. This talk will highlight recent work in the Nash Lab towards enhancing the activity of molecular therapeutics through mechanical effects. We present a new paradigm for enhancing the mechanical strength of therapeutic binding proteins based on optimal selection of anchor points within a molecule. We report bio-orthogonal protein engineering and single-molecule AFM force spectroscopy protocols for applying tension to therapeutic affibody-PDL1 and anticalin-CTLA4 complexes through arbitrary residues positions within the scaffold sequence. We show how a classical slip bond interaction can be converted into a force-activated catch bond through selection of anchor points, without requiring mutagenesis. In the future, we will develop these concepts towards enhanced nanoparticle delivery to cells under shear flow.

Prof. Michael Nash earned a Bachelor of Science in Cybernetics with a concentration in Biomedical Systems, graduating with highest honors from UCLA in 2006. He held research internships at the Caltech NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, the Pacific Northwest National Lab, and the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He earned a dual PhD degree in Bioengineering and Nanotechnology from the University of Washington, Seattle in 2010. Following Postdoctoral work in applied physics at LMU Munich from 2011-​2012, he was promoted to Group Leader in May 2013. Michael started as tenure-​track Assistant Professor with joint appointments at the University of Basel, Department of Chemistry, and at ETH Zurich, Department of Biosystems Science & Engineering in September 2016, and was promoted to Associate Professor in August 2021. 

Zoom link (with one-time registration for the whole series) for attending remotely: https://go.epfl.ch/EPFLBioETalks

Instructions for 1st-year Ph.D. students who are under EDBB’s mandatory seminar attendance rule:
IF you are not attending in-person in the room, please make sure to
  1. send D. Reinhard a note before noon on seminar day, informing that you plan to attend the talk online, and
  2. be signed in on Zoom with a recognizable user name (not a pseudonym making it difficult or impossible to be identified).
Students attending the seminar in-person should collect a confirmation signature after the talk - please print your own signature sheet beforehand (71 kB pdf available for download here).

Practical information

  • Informed public
  • Registration required