OSU BME Seminar Series: Dr. Felipe Quiroz, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University

All dates for this event occur in the past.

In-person 2000 Fontana Labs
Password: 381358
United States

Felipe G. Quiroz, PhD

Assistant Professor
Biomedical Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University


"Programming and probing the self-assembly of intrinsically-disordered proteins"

Intrinsically-disordered proteins (IDPs) recently emerged as major drivers of self-assembly in nature. Mechanistically, their stimuli-responsive solubility in aqueous solutions is governed by liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) dynamics. Intracellularly, for example, phase-separated IDP-assemblies orchestrate wide-ranging cellular mechanisms, from genome organization to cell division. These bioinspired insights suggest that IDPs are outstanding building blocks for cellular engineering and for the design of self-assembling “smart” materials. In this talk, I will present our progress toward programming and probing the LLPS behaviors of intrinsically-disordered proteins (IDPs), demonstrating their utility as self-assembling nanomaterials and as scaffolds for engineered organelles. I will highlight our two main approaches: (1) the engineering of lower and upper critical solution temperature (LCST and UCST, respectively) LLPS behavior in IDP polymers (Nature Materials 2015, Science Advances 2019); and (2) the development of genetically encoded sensors to probe the material properties of intracellular IDP-assemblies (Science 2020, JID Innovations 2021). Dwelling in materials engineering, I will discuss how the syntax and architecture of IDP polymers control their ability to access complex (e.g., band pass, with dual LCST/UCST) and non-equilibrium LLPS behaviors. As an example, these advances enabled the engineering of IDPs that form nanorods with superb stability. Finally, I will discuss LLPS-inspired cellular engineering approaches for bioimaging applications. Overall, my goal is to demonstrate IDP self-assembly as major direction for future biomedical engineering innovation.


Felipe G. Quiroz is Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. Dr. Quiroz and his team mine protein self-assembly in engineered and biological material systems. He holds a Career Award at the Scientific Interface from Burroughs Wellcome Fund.