Precision Glycocalyx Editing to Define Novel Therapeutic Targets and Modalities

Event time: 
April 3, 2024 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Sterling Chemistry Laboratory (SCL), Room 160 See map
Event description: 

Join Yale Chemistry for a Treat B. Johnson Chemistry Seminar by Kamil Godula, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, University of California, San Diego.

The cellular glycocalyx is a complex and dynamic biological interface relaying information between cells and their surroundings. Comprised of membrane-associated glycolipids and glycoproteins, the glycocalyx controls fundamental biological processes, including fertilization, embryogenesis, tissue and organ development, or immunity. Despite being implicated in various diseases, glycans are rarely considered suitable targets for therapies or drug development. One reason for this anomaly is the characteristically weak affinity of individual glycans toward their protein partners. Instead, glycans must be organized into multivalent ensembles to elicit sufficiently strong binding and biological responses. Thus, glycan functions are defined by and need to be examined in the context of their glycoconjugates and the entirety of the glycocalyx to fully explore their therapeutic potential.

While genetic and biochemical approaches can be used to manipulate glycan structures in living cells, engineering the architecture and three-dimensional organization of the entire glycocalyx remains a considerable challenge. Using synthetic glycomaterials as surrogates for glycoproteins, our lab develops cell-surface engineering approaches to edit the composition, architecture, and biophysical properties of the glycocalyx with a level of precision otherwise difficult to achieve using traditional molecular biology tools. We have leveraged these tools, for instance, to establish a novel framework for controlling growth factor signaling and differentiation in progenitor cells with implications for tissue engineering and organ regeneration. Another major area of our research program aims to understand how pathogens subvert mucosal barriers and to formulate strategies for reinforcing their intrinsic protective capacity.

This seminar is generously sponsored by the Mrs. Hepsa Ely Silliman Memorial Fund.

This seminar can be viewed on Panopto.

Student Research Talks
2:45 p.m., SCL 111
Taryn Lucas, Malaker Lab
Mihir Khambete, Spiegel Lab

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Chemistry Events