The mission for Molecular Engineering and Design Focus Group within the Center for Biomedical Engineering and Science is to fabricate functional devices ranging from the molecular to nano length scales, investigate fundamental properties of biopolymer systems to understand mechanisms of action important to biological function, and to characterize formulations important for processing and storage. The common research interests of investigators deals with preclinical drug discovery that includes screening and synthesis, measuring and modeling biochemical processes to characterize critical aspects that can be engineered or redesigned with an aim to develop and optimize novel drug delivery systems. The focus of MED currently spans the following areas:
- Protein-protein interactions
- RNA folding and self-assembly
- Protein stability, aggregation and formulation
- Molecular binding and allosteric response in drug targets
- Functionalized nano-particles and protein interactions with gold particles
- Structure/function relationships in antibodies, enzymes and motor proteins
Examples of work include the characterization of the mechanisms of action in chemokines, DNA-binding transposase and their role in gene therapy, allosteric response in monoclonal antibodies and their role as protein therapeutics, screening of inhibitors for narrow and broad spectrum antibiotics, heat shock proteins, myosin proteins and their role in heart disease and hearing disorders and functionalized nanoparticles for nanomedicine applications.