We are developing bottom-up self-assembly approaches to translate mass conversion and energy conversion biochemical pathways to non-cellular environments.
In this Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI), established in 2012, we are seeking apply the organizational power of DNA nanotechnology to the challenge of translating biochemical pathways to non-cellular environments. The pathways that convert mass and energy in all living organisms are dependent on the precise arrangement of participating elements, and the ability to exert control over these pathways outside the cell could make enzyme catalyzed production of molecular species and conversion of various forms of energy more efficient. Our multidisciplinary team consists of six leading researchers from four top-rated universities, with expertise in DNA nanotechnology, computational biology and biophysics, protein chemistry and bioconjugation, photo-biochemistry, porous material synthesis and single molecule biophysics. This research is being supported by the Department of Defense MURI program through the Army Research Office (ARO).