cfaed Seminar Series

cfaed Seminar Series

Dr. John P. Sadowski , Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, USA

Design and synthesis of dynamically assembling DNA nanostructures

20.05.2015 (Wednesday) , 16:00 - 17:30
Barkhausen-Bau, BAR II/ 63a , Helmholtzstraße 18 , 01069 Dresden


Kinetically controlled isothermal growth is fundamental to biological development, yet it remains challenging to rationally design molecular systems that self-assemble isothermally into complex geometries via prescribed assembly and disassembly pathways. By exploiting the programmable chemistry of base pairing, sophisticated spatial and temporal control have been demonstrated in DNA self-assembly, but largely as separate pursuits. By integrating temporal with spatial control, the "developmental" self-assembly of a DNA tetrahedron as been accomplished, where a prescriptive molecular program orchestrates the kinetic pathways by which DNA molecules isothermally self-assemble into a well-defined three-dimensional wireframe geometry. In this reaction, nine DNA reactants initially coexist metastably, but upon catalysis by a DNA initiator molecule, navigate 24 individually characterizable intermediate states via prescribed assembly pathways, organized both in series and in parallel, to arrive at the tetrahedral final product. In contrast to previous work on dynamic DNA nanotechnology, this developmental program coordinates growth of ringed substructures into a three-dimensional wireframe superstructure, taking a step toward the goal of kinetically controlled isothermal growth of complex three-dimensional geometries. 


Short Biographical Sketch:


2013: Ph.D., Chemistry, Harvard University 

2009: M.A., Chemistry, Harvard University

2007: B.S. with Honor, Chemistry, minor in History & Philosophy of Science, California Institute of Technology 

Research experience 

2014- current: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory 

2007- 2013: Graduate Student in Chemistry, Harvard University

2004- 2007: Undergraduate Research Fellow, California Institute of Technology

2001 - 2003: Visiting high school student, New York University 


2014: American Society of Engineering Education Postdoctoral Fellowship

2014: National Academy of Sciences Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship

2008: National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

2007: Buttonwood Foundation J. Marshall & Jane H. Booker Graduate Scholarship

2003: Caltech Axline Merit Award

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