Yamuna Krishnan, PhD, The University of Chicago Webinar
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Presentation & Panel Discussions
Moderator: Yamuna Krishnan, PhD, Professor, Department of Chemistry & Grossman Institute of Neuroscience, Quantitative Biology and Human Behavior, The University of Chicago
Presenter: Kasturi Chakraborty, PhD, Ben May Cancer Department, The University of Chicago
Presenter’s Bio: Kasturi Chakraborty is a postdoctoral researcher working with Prof. Lev Becker at the Ben May Department for Cancer research, University of Chicago. Her work focus’ on toggling pathways of macrophage biology and translation of this mechanistic understanding to develop therapeutics across a spectrum of human disease. Kasturi performed her graduate work with Prof. Yamuna Krishnan at the University of Chicago where she worked on application of DNA-based probes for quantitative tissue specific functional imaging in multicellular model organisms.
Abstract: Metabolism is altered in diseased or aging cells and this is also reflected at the level of organelles. Many times, introducing compensatory changes in organelles can restore cells to normalcy given the inherent feedback between cells and their organelles. Nature already targets the delivery of exogenous cargo with organelle-level precision in living organisms as evidenced by invading pathogens as well as endogenous signaling molecules. DNA can be self-assembled into molecularly precise, well-defined, synthetic assemblies on the nanoscale, commonly referred to as designer DNA nanodevices. Over the last decade, Krishnan lab developed a way to target DNA nanodevices to specific cells in vivo, but with organelle-level precision (1). Our first discovery in 2011 revealed that DNA nanodevices could reach lysosomes in specific cells of live nematodes, where it functioned as a reporter of pH (2). We then spent 10 years developing fluorescent probes to map the ionic environment within lysosomes and other organelles. Today Kasturi will discuss her work in our group that shows how we can use DNA nanodevices to manipulate lysosome function in immune cells, flip cell function and turn cold tumors hot (3).
- Surana, S., et al. An autonomous DNA nanomachine maps spatiotemporal pH changes in a multicellular living organism. Nat. Commun., 2011, 2, 340.
- K. Chakraborty, et. al.Tissue-specific targeting of DNA nanodevices in a multicellular living organism. eLife 2021, 10, e67830.
- C. Cui et al A lysosome-targeted DNA nanodevice selectively targets macrophages to attenuate tumors. Nat. Nanotechnol. 2021, 16, 1394-1402.
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