Assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UC Berkeley, Markita Landry, joins the podcast to discuss her latest research on nanoparticles and single molecule fluorescence methods.
She explains the following:
In Dr. Landry’s lab, she and her team are researching the uses and advantages of being able to control molecules that are on the scale of the building blocks of life—single nanoparticles the size of a single molecule of water.
She discusses the two primary focuses of her research, the first of which uses nanoparticles to deliver DNA, RNA, and protein into plants to improve their ability to resist pathogens and drought conditions. She explains that the technology they’ve created is different than conventional approaches which genetically modify plants, and as a result, the plants they alter will not be subject to lengthy and strict regulatory processes. In turn, this means that they will be easier to bring to market.
The second focus of her lab involves chemically altering nanoparticles in a way that will make them responsive to dopamine, an important signaling molecule in the brain that is a target for antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs. Dr. Landry and her team have created probes that fluorescently image dopamine in healthy and diseased brains, and this has led to surprising findings about the way in which individual neurons respond to certain substances.
Tune in for the full conversation and visit http://landrylab.com/ to learn more.