Dr. Hudalla’s research creates functional materials for therapeutic or diagnostic applications via molecular self-assembly. Dr. Hudalla develops synthetic peptides that can assemble into a desired nano-scale architecture, and then use these peptides as “tags” to organize biologically active molecules into functional materials. This creates glycosylated materials to modulate the activity of carbohydrate-binding proteins by attaching carbohydrates to peptides that self-assemble into elongated nanofibers. In another project, we create peptides that co-assemble into prescribed nanofibers or globular coiled-coils only upon mixing, which when expressed as recombinant fusions with functional proteins of interest, direct the self-assembly of different proteins into multi-functional nanomaterials. Dr. Hudalla’s long-term goals are to create biomaterials that can modulate immune responses for treatment of autoimmune diseases, or create biomaterials that interfere with molecular-level events central to metastasis and viral infection.
Honors and Awards:
- Young Innovator by Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering, 2016
- NSF CAREER Award, 2015
- Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, University of Florida Department of Biomedical Engineering, 2015
- National Science Foundation (NSF) Travel Award, Regenerative Medicine Workshop at Hilton Head, 2015
- Outstanding Contribution, Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Journal, 2015