Shishir Chundawat, Assistant Porfessor in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, will present.
Glyco-enzymes engineering for a sweeter, cleaner, and healthier future!
Abstract: Carbohydrates (or glycans) are the most abundant class of biomolecules on the planet that are known to play critical metabolic, structural, and functional roles in biological systems. Given the dense coating of diverse glycan molecules on essentially all cell membrane (e.g., O-linked glycoconjugates displayed on the glycocalyx of mammalian cells or polysaccharides embedded within plant cell walls) and biomolecule surfaces (e.g., N-linked glycoproteins), it is not surprising that glycans play a critical role in cell biology such as mediating interfacial interactions of host cells with infectious or symbiotic agents (e.g., bacteria, viruses), drugs, antibodies, hormones, enzymes, and intercellular signaling receptors amongst various other roles. But we are still far from elucidating the role of glycans in the design and regulation of biological systems spanning from the molecular to organismal level, unlike the more advanced fields of genomics and proteomics. The role of glycans in living systems can be better understood by creating a diverse chemical-biology enabled toolkit to uncover the ‘sweeter’ rules of life governing the biosynthesis, structure-function relationships, and ultimately deconstruction of these complex biomolecules. The Chundawat Research Group at Rutgers University is therefore developing a protein and glycan engineering (or broadly glycoengineering) toolkit along with applying advanced bioprocessing and biophysical techniques to address fundamental scientific and engineering problems relevant to healthcare, bioenergy, and biomaterials research. In this seminar, Chundawat will highlight key advances being made in the general areas of glycoengineering and biomanufacturing using Carbohydrate-Active enZymes (CAZymes) at Rutgers University. He will specifically highlight some novel strategies being developed in his group using engineered CAZymes for chemoenzymatic synthesis of designer oligosaccharides as prebiotics/antibiotics, autonomous N-linked glycoproteins characterization for enabling continuous biological drugs manufacturing, and efficient saccharification of cellulosic biomass to fermentable sugars for biofuels production.
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