I am a sophomore, chemistry major – sociology minor at Morehouse College from Brooklyn, New York. I am interested in translational research, pharmaceutical research, and designing and synthesizing new drugs for the industry. Outside of my studies, I enjoy socializing, exercise, gaming, and immersing myself in new experiences.
Engineering Binding Protein for Salmonella Detection
Christian Lubin1, Yining Hao2, Hadley D. Sikes2
1Department of Chemistry, Morehouse College
2Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Xibus Systems has previously sponsored research in the Hadley D. Sikes Laboratory to discover thermostable binding proteins for Listeria monocytogenes, an established food pathogen widely regarded as problematic. Xibus’ current work is to discover additional thermostable binding proteins, specific to not just Listeria, but also Salmonella and pathogenic Escherichia coli (E. coli). In looking to engineer a binding protein specific to Salmonella, we are hoping to better detect the pathogenic bacteria in food production. Detection of this bacteria in production would prevent the contraction of related foodborne illness, which can result in severe sickness and even death. In this project, the Rapid Affinity Pair Identification via Directed Selection (RAPIDS) process will be utilized, which enables the identification of affinity reagents that function together as complementary pairs, from in vitro libraries of about 109 variants. The process identifies complementary pairs that bind to separate epitopes without binding to one another or non – targets through the application of selective pressure to hundreds of thousands of potential affinity pairs. Going into the project, the intended application of the engineered protein was through food safety sensor devices, which can indicate the presence or absence of Salmonella within minutes. A diagnostic like this is valuable because it fosters safer food production and protects the health of countless consumers.