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Seminar & Lunch “Illuminating Biology Through Phage-Assisted Continuous Evolution” by Dr. Ahmed Badran
June 14, 2018 @ 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Seminar – 11:30am – 12:30pm. UBRP students interested in attending an informal lunch with Dr. Badran after the seminar from 12:30pm – 1:30pm should RSVP by 12:00pm on June 13 to https://doodle.com/poll/97p5ehqg7q8y6zp5.
Ahmed Badran is a fellow in the Broad Fellows program at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and is a member of the institute’s Infectious Disease & Microbiome (IDM) and Chemical Biology & Therapeutic Sciences (CBTS) programs. Badran’s research integrates principles of protein engineering, synthetic biology, genome editing, and directed evolution to enable an improved understanding of the cellular translation machinery and its role in resource allocation. His laboratory specifically seeks to illuminate the basic biological principles underlying ribosomal biogenesis and catalytic efficiency, which will provide avenues for the biological generation of novel non-proteogenic biomolecules, dissection of the origin of the ribosome, and the prediction of resistance profiles for commonly used anti-ribosomal antibiotics.
As an undergraduate at the University of Arizona under the guidance of Professor Indraneel Ghosh, he performed research on split protein sensors for the detection of nucleic acids and their many epigenetic and damage modifications. During his Ph.D. research in the group of Professor David R. Liu at Harvard University, Badran participated in the development of Phage-Assisted Continuous Evolution (PACE), a general platform for the directed evolution of biomolecules. Through a combination of synthetic biology, engineered mutagenesis mechanisms and PACE, Badran has contributed to the evolution of novel functions across numerous, unrelated protein activities, including DNA-binding domain, protein-protein interactions, proteases, and genome editing agents. Recently, Badran demonstrated the directed evolution of novel Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins capable of overcoming acquired resistance in a common agricultural pest, Trichoplusia ni, providing a new approach to addressing this global threat.
Badran has earned several distinctions for his undergraduate and graduate research, including the National Institutes of Health Director’s Early Independence Award, the BIO5 Innovator Award, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Scholarship, the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Merit Fellowship.
Badran graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry & molecular biophysics, as well as molecular & cellular biology, from the University of Arizona. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University in chemical biology.