Yeongseon Jang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Florida
Formation of supramolecular structure from basic biomolecules is an essential characteristic of living organisms, which has inspired me to create synthetic, functional supramolecular biomaterials from tunable polymers and proteins. These approaches require a thorough understanding of the intermolecular interactions of chained, rod-shaped, and globular types of complex polymeric building blocks under various environmental conditions. In this talk, I will describe the rational strategies for engineering of different types of supramolecular materials made from recombinant peptides and globular fusion proteins. First, I will discuss the approaches to create gas-filled microbubbles, which present specific bioactivity, controlled mechanical properties and size, from the recombinant oleosin protein that serve as an amphiphilic triblock copolymer building block. We suggested a simple method to tailor the mechanical properties of the recombinant protein-stabilizing layers of gas bubbles by blending of Pluronic copolymers for the development of ultrasound-mediated cancer therapy agents. Second, I will discuss the research efforts to investigate the self-assembly behavior of recombinant fusion proteins into vesicles based on scattering and microscopy techniques. We studied the vesicle self-assembly of globular fusion proteins as a function of temperature, concentration, and time to use the fundamental information to create globular protein-shelled vesicles with controlled structure and bioactive properties. Collectively, a combination of recombinant technology and soft matter assembly approaches at the molecular and supramolecular level will offer new insight into the creation of advanced biomaterials, which can overcome current challenges in synthetic biomaterials for diverse applications.
Bio: Yeongseon Jang obtained a Ph.D. in Chemical & Biological Engineering in 2013 at Seoul National University. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Pennsylvania with Prof. Daeyeon Lee and Prof. Daniel A. Hammer from 2014 to 2015 and Georgia Institute of Technology from 2015 to 2018 with Prof. Julie A. Champion. She joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Florida in 2018 as an assistant professor and her research is focused on identifying fundamental knowledge of the self-assembly of recombinant fusion proteins and applying this information to create functional supramolecular biomaterials with controlled structure and properties for biomedical applications.