Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2012
Home Department: Bioengineering
Faculty Advisor: Jennifer Cochran (Bioengineering)

Research Title: Engineering a new enzyme for precise protein labeling

Research Description: Site-specific protein bioconjugation is immensely valuable in many different contexts, enabling probing of protein-protein interactions, engineering of novel drugs and materials, etc. While recent efforts to harness the selectivity and catalytic efficiency of enzymes for protein bioconjugation have yielded marked improvements over commonly used non-specific labeling methods, previously described strategies for enzymatic conjugation rely on acceptor peptide tags that must be genetically incorporated onto the protein of interest, restricting modifications to protein termini and posing the risk of structural disruption and immunogenicity. Anne aims to engineer a novel enzyme for site-specific, tag-free bioconjugation, by combining yeast surface display with a recently developed high-throughput, microcapillary-based protein engineering platform. In addition to having immediate practical applications, this project will identify mutational hotspots for altering the enzyme’s substrate specificity, opening the doors for future engineering against diverse targets with useful functions.


Anne is working in Atreca’s Target Biochemistry team in San Carlos.