Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2017
Home Department: Immunology
Faculty Advisors: K. Chris Garcia (Molecular & Cellular Physiology, Structural Biology) and Michael Bassik (Genetics)

Research Title: Functional and biophysical investigation of coevolved receptor-ligand interactions using yeast and mammalian surface display

Research Description: Coevolution of receptors and their ligands generates complex interaction networks that make up the language of cellular communication. Despite the existence of manyPhoto of graduate student Caleb Glassman in the lab, using a pipette. receptor-ligand pairs, high sequence conservation among species suggests that natural protein-protein interactions are only a subset of all possible interfaces. Identification and characterization of non-native interactions could provide a means to selectively activate transferred cell populations via engineered receptor ligand interactions that do not cross-react with wild type signaling molecules. The work proposed here aims to explore non-native interfacing chemistries using yeast display and genome editing in mammalian cells, and will help answer basic and applied questions about protein coevolution. 


Caleb is a postdoc in Steve Elledge’s lab at HMS.