Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2009
Home Department: Materials Science & Engineering
Faculty Advisors: Sarah Heilshorn (Materials Science & Engineering), Nicholas Melosh (Materials Science & Engineering), Andrew Spakowitz (Chemical Engineering), and Sebastian Doniach (Applied Physics)

Research Title: TEThER: A modular synthesis strategy for inorganic nanomaterials using biomolecules

Research Description: The size, shape, phase, and hierarchical organization of inorganic materials are all important factors that define the materials’ properties and are not yet easily controllable on the nanoscale. Proteins have great potential for use as templates to direct the growth and assembly of inorganic nanomaterials due to the wide array of naturally available nanoscale architectures they offer. Clathrin in particular is a protein that offers access to multiple 2D and 3D architectures through self-assembly, making it an attractive candidate to template a variety of nanoscale morphologies. The goals of Alia's project were to gain insight into the self-assembly process of clathrin to enable predictive control of the size and shape of clathrin protein templates and to develop a robust and versatile strategy to functionalize self-assembled clathrin templates with designer bi-functional peptides for the synthesis of inorganic nanomaterials in a specific and controlled manner.


Alia is a Research Development Specialist in Stanford’s Research Development Office, where she supports faculty teams from across the University with a focus on large, collaborative research proposals in the STEM fields and with emphasis on climate and sustainability research.