Fall 2019 Austin Hooey Special Graduate Research Award winner: Aravind Natarajan

Aravind Natarajan, formerly of the DeLisa Research Group, will present a seminar in CBE:

Monday, December 9

9:00 AM

255 Olin Hall

Glycosylation and Science Blender – The Sweet Story of Adventures in Olin Hall

Escherichia coli is an exceptional model organism, tolerant to additions and overhauls of metabolic pathways, and recombinant expression of diverse proteins making it a tractable chassis for both the study of complex biological systems and production of therapeutics. However, lab strains of E. coli are unable to perform critical posttranslational modifications, like glycosylation, that are important for the study and production of protein therapeutics. In my doctoral research, we endow E. coli with the catalytic potential to produce a diverse panel of human glyco-epitopes, including cancer relevant MUC1 VNTR motifs, bearing mucin-type O-glycans through a novel recombinant pathway.

While research to augment our understanding of biological processes towards improving quality of life is important, the inherent inequality of our society limits access to the fruits of such discoveries. We believe equity in higher education can empower communities through socio-economic mobility, and therefore explore the use of podcasts, an emerging medium, to amplify the voice of role models to support students from traditionally under-represented identities persist in STEM. My doctoral research lays the foundation for follow up studies, harnessing podcasts to foster inclusion and equity.

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