February 25, 2017

Livermore Area

Presented by:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Education Program


This presentation will discuss the use of both synthetic and molecular biology approaches to produce small nano-machines, termed nano-bots, with defined and measurable functionalities. The main building blocks for these nano-bots are based on nano-lipo-protein particles (NLPs).  These NLP particles are made up of a lipid raft surrounded by protein that naturally exists in the human body to transport cholesterol. We have developed a unique process to make engineered particles that represent the basic building blocks of our nano-robots. Functionality is imparted through modifying the surface of the particle or by embedding or attaching additional biomolecules with specific activity. The process of making the NLPs is simple and is easily adapted to building higher complex machines to meet multiple health and biosecurity challenges. These NLP based nano-bots represent a unique solution for new approaches to vaccines, drug delivery and energy needs.

Speaker Bios

Dr. Matt Coleman

Dr. Coleman is a Senior Biomedical Staff Scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at University of California Davis School of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biochemistry and Cellular Biology from Boston University. Dr. Coleman has authored over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals, published proceedings and book chapters covering a diverse breadth of molecular biology and biochemistry. Dr. Coleman is active in the development of advance biochemical techniques using nanoparticles.

Dr. Amy Rasley

Dr. Rasley is a Senior Staff Scientist working in the Host-Pathogen Biology Group within the Biosciences and Biotechnology Division at LLNL.  Dr. Rasley received her B. S. in Zoology from Weber State University in Utah and Ph. D. in Immunology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her past research efforts during her Ph.D. and postdoctoral tenures focused on understanding the initiation of innate immune responses within the central nervous system during bacterial and viral infections.  Currently, Dr. Rasley’s work has been largely focused on the use of a nanoparticle platform for immune modulation strategies aimed at mitigating or preventing infection, including vaccines and adjuvant systems.

Dr. Wei He

Wei He is a postdoctoral fellow at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Wei earned a B.S. in Microbiology from Fudan University and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from University of California Davis. His graduate work focused on development of an in vitro model of human EGFR family of receptor tyrosine kinases, which play a role in cancer progression and treatment, using nanolipoprotein paricles (NLPs). Much of his work involved designing in vivo and in vitro kinase assays to study the role of EGFR proteins and mutations in cancer development, drug responsiveness and drug resistance. He also developed a novel class of multifunctional nanoparticles for functional studies of membrane proteins, targeted drug screening, and drug delivery for cancer immunotherapy.

Erin McKay

Erin M. McKay is a Biology teacher at Tracy High School in Tracy, CA. She received her BS in Biology with an emphasis in Plant biology in 2001 and her Science teaching credential in 2002 from University of California Davis.  While attending UC Davis she interned at a small startup, AgraQuest, in their microbiology department. After finishing her education, she began teaching at Tracy high in 2002, and began participating in Lawrence Livermore National Lab's Teacher Research Academy. As of the summer of 2011, she and three other west coast teachers began collaborating with Rutgers University's Waksman Institute's student scholar program.  This program trains teachers and students how to do genuine Molecular Biology research in the classroom.  In the summer of 2012, Erin helped organize and instruct the student scholar program at Lawrence Livermore Lab's Teacher Research Academy.