Polymer Engineering with Proteins and Peptides for Biomedicine 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018  3:00pm – 4:00pm (SME 248)

Polymer Engineering with Proteins and Peptides for Biomedicine 

Dr. Jonathan Pokorski

Associate Professor, Department of NanoEngineering.  University of California, San Diego

Abstract: Projects in the Pokorski lab will be described detailing work ranging from the macro-scale to the molecular scale. These projects utilize polymer processing and synthetic chemistry to fabricate or synthesize biologically relevant materials. One example, will describe melt-processing of several protein candidates and the effect on macromolecular structure and enzymatic activity of the processed proteins. The primary focus of this portion on the seminar will be a discussion of virus like nanoparticles (VLPs) derived from bacteriophage Qβ, which is a combinatorial vaccine platform. Melt processing conditions, physical models of processing, and biological data will be described in which Qβ is processed into slow-release depot delivery formulations. In another example, chemistry to form protein-polymer conjugates will be described. New methods to synthesize these materials are critical to the development of biopharmaceuticals, since polymer conjugation elicits extreme pharmacokinetic advantages. The current gold-standard, PEGylation, is outdated and potentially dangerous. This portion of the talk will describe ring-opening metathesis polymerization methods to develop the next-generation of protein-polymer conjugates. Lastly, I will briefly describe where the lab research is going at UCSD in the hopes of inspiring collaborative discussion!

Biosketch:  Professor Pokorski began his scientific career by earning his B.S. in biochemistry from UCLA in 2002. While at UCLA, he worked in private industry designing and testing biomedical devices that are currently in use globally. In 2007, Dr. Pokorski received his doctoral degree in organic chemistry from Northwestern University, where he designed, synthesized, and tested diverse peptidomimetic systems for use in medical diagnostics and therapeutics. Dr. Pokorski then moved to The Scripps Research Institute, where he used both chemical and genetic engineering of viral nanoparticles to synthesize novel drug delivery systems. During postdoctoral training, Dr. Pokorski first earned a NIH Ruth Kirschstein fellowship and later secured an NIH Pathway to Independence Award.Dr. Pokorski’s joined the faculty at Case Western Reserve university in the department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering in 2012 and recently moved to UCSD in the department of NanoEngineering. Pokorski’s laboratory works to bridge chemical synthesis, molecular biology, and materials science to make new materials for biomedical applications. The Pokorski lab is particularly interested in marrying protein and polymer science to generate new materials for drug delivery, imaging, and vaccination. Research in the Pokorski lab is funded through grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and the American Chemical Society. He has been awarded several prestigious awards, including a 2013 ACS PRF New Investigator Award and, in 2016, he was elected a Kavli Fellow.


“The University of California San Diego

“The University of California San Diego has been named the nation’s fifth best public university, according to U.S. News and World’s Report’s Best Global Universities.” – Photo by Haim Weizman – http://ow.ly/21rA30mranK http://ow.ly/i/Jfqfa

Upcoming Event: European Commission – Horizon 2020: Research Opportunities in Europe

European Commission – Horizon 2020: Research Opportunities in Europe
Information Session on grants and fellowships for researchers of all nationalities and research fields

You are invited to an information session about Horizon 2020, a research opportunity based in Europe. Horizon 2020 is the European Union’s research and innovation funding program and is the world’s largest multinational R&I program. In addition to funding collaborative research projects, it offers opportunities to individual researchers.  This information session discusses grants and fellowships for researchers in any field and from any nationality.

Date: Thursday November 8, 2018

Time: 9:00-11:30 a.m.

Location: International House Great Hall

Register here.

Outstanding work by our colleagues and f

Outstanding work by our colleagues and friends of the Bertrand group! http://ow.ly/i/JdiLL

Postdoc Scholar Position Open- University of Notre Dame

There’s an open postdoctoral scholar position in the newly established White Lab at the University of Notre Dame (www.sites.nd.edu/whitelab). The White Lab is in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry with affiliation at the Harper Cancer Research Institute. We seek to understand how intracellular pH (pHi) dynamics regulate proteins, pathways, and cell behaviors and mechanisms by which dysregulated pHi dynamics promote cancer initiation, maintenance, drug resistance, and evolution.

The position will be supported by startup funds under a 1-year contract, renewable thereafter. Candidates must have a Ph.D. in Chemistry, Cell Biology, or related fields. All qualified applicants will be considered, but those with expertise in quantitative microscopy, PI3K signaling, organoid or spheroid culture, or SILAC mass spectrometry techniques are particularly encouraged to apply.

Interested candidates can submit a cover letter, CV, and contact information for three references to Dr. White (kwhite6@nd.edu).

The University of Notre Dame hosts a rich and multidisciplinary research environment (https://research.nd.edu) and is located in South Bend, IN: a liberal and diverse city with very low cost of living (https://visitsouthbend.com).

Many thanks to the Alfred P. Sloan Found

Many thanks to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for their generous grant to provide impactful Sloan Scholar Fellowships to our UCSD PhD students! – thisweek@ucsdsandiego highlights one of our very own, Ritchie Hernandez, an 18/19 Sloan Scholar in Chemistry and Biochemistry! Congratulations, Ritchie! We’re impressed with all of your accomplishments, so far! We look forward to your continued success and achievements in our graduate program. http://ow.ly/i/J9uUy

Info Session for the 2018/2019 Student Innovation Ambassadors

Last year saw the successful launch of the Student Innovation Ambassadors program at UC San Diego where 28 of our talented students from every part of campus came together each month throughout the academic year to provide valuable insight and strategic feedback on the needs and structure of the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem at UC San Diego.

On the advisement of the Student Innovation Ambassadors, we launched the Converge Incubator. Summer 2018 was the pilot program where we dedicated $30k in funding run an 8-week, curriculum-based incubator where students received a stipend to participate and focused on building their entrepreneurial ideas.

We are excited to continue the momentum and will be hosting an Info Session for the 2018/19 Student Innovation Ambassadors on Nov. 1, 7-9pm in The Basement (Mandeville Center, B202).