Dr Nadanai Laohakunakorn awarded UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship
Congratulations to SynthSys member Nadanai Laohakunakorn, who is the recipient of a UK government fellowship that supports researchers and innovators with outstanding potential.
Nadanai will develop a method that allows proteins to be sustainably made outside of living cells.
The project ‘self-sustaining cell-free systems’ aims to improve the speed and reduce the cost of manufacturing useful proteins, such as those used in healthcare or environmental monitoring products.
The approach will harness the biological machinery that produces proteins inside living cells, integrating it into controlled microscale biochemical reactions in the laboratory.
These ‘cell-free’ reactions are then activated by DNA instructions allowing them to produce more copies of their own components, as well as the protein of interest.
Self-regeneration is a fundamental property of life itself, but it is almost entirely absent in engineered systems. By attempting to build regeneration from the bottom-up, using cell-free protein synthesis systems, I hope to elucidate how cells achieve this remarkable property, and how we may be able to harness it for biotechnological applications.