Nucleotides and the art of DNA nanostructuring
ChemEng Theatre (G20)
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Building 1
The integration of biology into synthetic systems is an exciting concept and humans have much to learn from how nature appears to seamlessly undertake programmable assembly. Through this process exquisitely engineered structures with both function and hierarchy can be produced. Mimicking, and even designing, biologically inspired structures within the laboratory is far from trivial and while we understand how the programming works – via the classic Watson-Crick mechanism or non-canonical binding - we are far from elucidating how to do this in the laboratory with precision and on large enough scales to be applied to such applications as diagnostics, antimicrobials or DNA templating.
This talk will introduce the use of dynamic DNA displacement reactions as a mechanism of genotyping. These reactions utilise the intrinsic programmability of DNA to identify short tandem repeats (STRs) and single nucleotide polymorphs (SNPs) with real-life DNA. When the DNA is coupled with a fluorescent dye/quencher system reaction rates can be used to determine anomalies in the target molecules. The talk will also describe recent synthesis of nucleotide functionalised monomers, polymerisable by reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerisation in attempts to create DNA templates. Finally, the talk will highlight work in the application of guanine-rich DNA folded into G-quadruplexes (G4's) and coupled with the antibiotic oxacillin as an effective antibiotic against Staphylococcus aureus biofilms and how G4's can be used in our new Open Circuit ELectrOn Transfer (OCELOT) microfluidic devices.
Professor Amanda V. Ellis, The University of Melbourne
Professor Amanda V. Ellis
The University of Melbourne
Prof. Amanda Ellis graduated with a Ph.D (Applied Chemistry) from the University of Technology, Sydney in 2003. After two postdocs in the USA, including Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and New Mexico State University. Later she secured a prestigious Foundation of Research Science and Technology Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Industrial Research Ltd (now Callaghan Innovations). In 2006 Amanda commenced at Flinders University as a teaching/research academic in Chemical and Physical Sciences. During this time, she became a Full Professor (2013) and later the Associate Dean of Research for the Faculty of Science and Engineering. She was an ARC Future Fellow (20142018). In May 2017 she joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Melbourne. She has worked with numerous industry partners and has secured over $20 M in funding from the ARC and nonARC sources on projects as well as publishing over 145 peerreviewed publications and 6 Full patents involving advanced materials science, carbon nanotechnologies, membrane and polymer science, microfluidics and DNA nanotechnology. She is a Board Member of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) and an Australian Research Council College of Experts for the MCPE panel member. She is the current holder of the RACI Margaret Sheil Women in Leadership Award (2019).