Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Washington (2010)
  • B.A., Mount Holyoke College, Biochemistry (2004)

Stanford Advisors

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Biotemplating is an inorganic synthetic strategy that exploits the uniform, regular stable structures
of natural biological scaffolds for nanoparticle formation. Protein assemblies, in particular, exhibit
useful characteristics for biotemplating due to the infinite structures of different sizes and shapes that
form under mild conditions in vitro. In addition, protein assemblies contain a multitude of exposed
sites that can be modified to interact with the inorganic material of interest. My current project uses
a unique strategy for nanoparticle formation using a self-assembling protein, clathrin, a key protein in
the formation of coated vesicles that transport cargo across lipid membranes. Clathrin assembles into
cage-like structures in vivo and can be induced to self-assemble in vitro into 3D cages, cubes, tetrahedra,
and 2D lattice structures, offering variable surface size and shape for inorganic nanoparticle formation.
With such a flexible protein biotemplate, synthesis of 2D and 3D conducting metal/metal oxide
nanostructures (applicable in fuel cells, solar cells and other devices) can be carried out under less harsh
conditions relative to traditional synthetic routes, contributing to “greener” strategies in developing
inorganic nanomaterials.