Past Event

Thesis Defense In Chemistry, Presented by Tea Crnković

April 11, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
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Thesis Defense in Chemistry


Expanding Biosensing Capabilities of Engineered Yeast

Presented By Tea Crnković


Synthetic biology is an emerging field which has led to development of many useful applications of engineered biological networks and systems, such as biosensing, production of chemicals, biocomputation and biomaterial formation. One of the exciting advancements of the field are engineered living cells which can serve as molecular factories, diagnostics or therapeutics. One of the widely used chassis in synthetic biology are yeast cells due to their simple and inexpensive culturing conditions and the ability to heterologously express eukaryotic proteins. In this talk, I will present the work where I explore and expand biosensing and responding capabilities of engineered living yeast. I will begin with the background information related to synthetic biology, living engineered biosensors, theranostics and more specifically background on yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its applications in synthetic biology. Next, I will cover yeast engineering as a heavy metal and metalloid biosensor, as well as the exploration of peptide-containing hydrobeads in conjunction with peptide-responsive yeast as a physical damage biosensor. Further on, I will talk about the progress towards establishing a living yeast biosensor for detection of pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus and expanded biosensing of other Aspergillus species, as well as additional optimization of the biosensing yeast’s signal-to- noise ratio, sensitivity and readout time. Then, I will demonstrate the utility of specific peptide proteases in combination with peptide promiscuous GPCRs in a living yeast biosensor for detection and differentiation of peptide variants. Lastly, I will present about the engineered yeast sense-and-respond community which is activated by pheromone-secreting fungi in the co-culture and is responding by secreting a toxin which kills the pheromone-secreting fungi.

Contact Information

(212) 854-2202