Juanita Francis, Canadian
I hold a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology-Biotechnology in Canada. In 2017 I moved to Sweden to advance my knowledge within the field of biotechnology where I completed my master’s degree at Lund University in 2019. My studies were heavily focused on recombinant proteins and enzyme technology. My experience and interest in recombinant systems and protein production lead me to a research position at Karolinska Institutes in which I investigated recombinant spider silk proteins produced in bacterial expression systems in efforts to create novel biomaterials. Although not my favorite animal (there were a lot of spiders in the lab), I do find them fascinating and especially their ability to produce a material that is extremely versatile, spider silk. There is an emerging amount of information about how spiders and other animals like silkworms can produce their various silks but there is more knowledge to be obtained to get a full scope of silk assembly if one wants truly mimic native silk fibers. This leads me to my Swedness project.
My Swedness project focuses on elucidating the chemical and structural complexities and understanding the molecular basis involved in the fibril/fiber assembly of spider/silkworm silks. To do so we will use a multimodal approach using various advance techniques (Neutron small-angle scattering, UV visible Ramen and Fluorescence spectroscopy) simultaneously to observe structure and molecular dynamics of a sample at various length scales. The relevance of this approach will provide better knowledge on silk fibrinogenesis and establish new technology in biomaterial formation.
|University: Lund University
Project Title: Multimodal tools to resolve assembly mechanisms in biological
processes: Silks as a model
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