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Category: Research

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Unlocking biotechnology with RNA

May 17, 2022

Two recent molecular engineering graduates launched a new startup, Wayfinder Biosciences, to commercialize their revolutionary platform to design RNA molecules that can be used to advance everything from sustainable biomanufacturing to targeted CRISPR therapies. [...]

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Q&A: Making Earth-friendly electronics

April 21, 2022

Three UW researchers, including MolES faculty member Eleftheria Roumeli, are exploring ways to make electronics more Earth-friendly. [...]

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Novel nanoparticle shows promise for treating aggressive breast cancer

March 17, 2022

Scientists at the University of Washington have recently developed a new nanoparticle-based drug delivery system that simultaneously delivers chemo- and immune- therapeutics directly to the tumor site, limiting harmful off-target side effects. In a paper published last November in Materials Today, they reported that their multifunctional nanoparticle can inhibit tumor growth and spread, also known as metastasis, in mouse models of triple negative breast cancer, an exceptionally aggressive form of breast cancer with limited treatment options. [...]

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Corrie Cobb
Corie L. Cobb awarded DARPA Director’s Fellowship

January 24, 2022

Corie L. Cobb, professor of mechanical engineering and the Washington Research Foundation Innovation Professor in Clean Energy, has been selected as recipient of the prestigious Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Director’s Fellowship Award. [...]

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Northwest Nanotechnology Infrastructure announces new seed grants

January 6, 2022

To support the use of nanotechnology tools to develop innovative, new technologies, the Northwest Nanotechnology Infrastructure (NNI) is offering seed grants for work to be conducted in our fabrication or characterization facilities. These grants are designed to help users build and characterize prototypes, obtain preliminary results and conduct proof of concept studies. [...]

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Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers
Six MolES faculty among world’s most influential researchers

November 23, 2021

Six researchers affiliated with the Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute are among the most influential in the world, according to the annual Highly Cited Researchers list published by the Web of Science, the world’s largest publisher-neutral citation index. [...]

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UW BIOFAB: A force for reproducible science

November 17, 2021

The UW’s Biofabrication Center, a unique facility dedicated to enabling the rapid design, construction and testing of genetically reprogrammed organisms, is partnering with Agilent Technologies in pursuit of automated, reproducible research. [...]

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Tiny structures, big impact

October 12, 2021

Miqin Zhang is working to improve cancer treatment with nanoparticles made from the same material found in crustacean shells. [...]

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NSF to fund revolutionary center for optoelectronic, quantum technologies

September 9, 2021

The National Science Foundation has announced it will fund a new endeavor to bring atomic-level precision to the devices and technologies that underpin much of modern life, and will transform fields like information technology in the decades to come. The five-year, $25 million Science and Technology Center grant will found the Center for Integration of Modern Optoelectronic Materials on Demand — or IMOD — a collaboration of scientists and engineers at 11 universities led by the University of Washington. [...]

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University of Washington and Microsoft researchers develop “nanopore-tal” enabling cells to talk to computers

August 12, 2021

The research team, which includes MolE graduate student Nicolas Cardozo, introduce a new class of reporter proteins that can be directly read by a commercially available nanopore sensing device. The new system ― dubbed “Nanopore-addressable protein Tags Engineered as Reporters,” also known as NanoporeTERs or NTERs for short ― can perform multiplexed detection of protein expression levels from bacterial and human cell cultures far beyond the capacity of existing techniques. [...]

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UW synthetic biologist James Carothers wins ARPA-E award to develop new CO2 bioconversion process

July 13, 2021

The funding will be used to develop scalable, cell-free platforms that enable the capture and conversion of carbon dioxide into industrial chemicals, providing manufacturers with a cheaper, more efficient and sustainable means of chemical production. [...]

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Alzheimer’s research gets a boost

April 6, 2021

Bioengineering startup AltPep advances technology for the early detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s and other amyloid diseases. [...]

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Role of solvent molecules in light-driven electron transfer revealed

March 12, 2021

In a study published in Nature Chemistry, a research team led by MolES faculty member Munira Khalil, professor and chair of chemistry at the UW, has captured the rapid motions of solvent molecules that impact light-driven electron transfer in a molecular complex for the first time. This information could help researchers learn how to control energy flow in molecules, potentially leading to more efficient clean energy sources. [...]

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Researchers use lasers and molecular tethers to create perfectly patterned platforms for tissue engineering

January 18, 2021

MolES faculty member Cole DeForest and colleagues have developed a technique to modify naturally occurring biological polymers with protein-based biochemical messages that affect cell behavior. Their approach, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, uses a near-infrared laser to trigger chemical adhesion of protein messages to a scaffold made from biological polymers such as collagen, a connective tissue found throughout our bodies. [...]

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A culture of collaboration

November 17, 2020

MolES faculty members Barry Lutz and Paul Yager pivoted their diagnostics research to support the need for COVID-19 testing. [...]

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Break it up: Polymer derived from material in shrimp’s shells could deliver anti-cancer drugs to tumor sites

November 3, 2020

A University of Washington team led by Miqin Zhang, a MolES faculty member and professor of materials science and engineering, has developed a nanoparticle-based drug delivery system that can ferry a potent anti-cancer drug through the bloodstream safely. Their nanoparticle is derived from chitin, a natural and organic polymer that, among other things, makes up the outer shells of shrimp. [...]

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How to build a network of pharmaceutical biofactories

October 15, 2020

Advances in synthetic biology and biomaterials are opening up exciting prospects for the distributed manufacturing of drugs, food products, and other commodities. [...]

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All together now: Experiments with twisted 2D materials catch electrons behaving collectively

October 7, 2020

In a paper published Sept. 14 in the journal Nature Physics, a team led by the University of Washington reports that carefully constructed stacks of graphene — a 2D form of carbon — can exhibit highly correlated electron properties. The team also found evidence that this type of collective behavior likely relates to the emergence of exotic magnetic states. [...]

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The heat is on for building 3D artificial organ tissues

October 1, 2020

Bioengineering professor Kelly Stevens and colleagues created a new tool to control gene expression in 3D-printed genetically-engineering cells using heat. [...]

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UW receives NSF funds for investment in an interdisciplinary quantum future

September 1, 2020

The National Science Foundation has awarded $3 million to establish a NSF Research Traineeship at the University of Washington for graduate students in quantum information science and technology. The new traineeship — known as Accelerating Quantum-Enabled Technologies, or AQET — will make the UW one of just “a handful” of universities with a formal, interdisciplinary QIST curriculum. MolES faculty member Kai-Mei Fu will serve as the director of AQET. [...]

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