Seyi Jung ’24
Chemical and Biological Engineering
Light-controlled Selective Protein Degradation
The Avalos Group aims to develop more efficient methods to produce biofuel such as isobutanol from yeast. I helped to develop and test optogenetic circuits, which can be used to control genetic and metabolic pathways via light-controlled protein degradation. I implemented and tested the pairing of protein to degron, a portion of a protein that is important in regulation of protein degradation rates, using the ALFA nanobody system for selective protein degradation. The system was later placed under light-controlled promoters. I also analyzed and organized the experimental results that tested the effectiveness of the ALFA nanobody system and the optogenetic circuits. I gained hands-on experience in yeast engineering, cloning, plasmid construction, and data analysis. It was a great pleasure to design and successfully construct plasmids, which are genetic structures in a cell that replicate independently of the chromosomes. I also enjoyed theorizing about the possible applications of optogenetic circuits for not only isobutanol production, but also for multiple other metabolic pathways in yeast. This has been a great learning experience, and I plan to continue exploring the kinetics and application of optogenetic circuits throughout my junior independent research project.
Innovation and a New Energy Future
Avalos Group, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Princeton University - Princeton, New Jersey
José Avalos, Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment; Allison Tang, Ph.D. candidate, Chemical and Biological Engineering