Demirer Lab Receives 2023 CCE Innovation Award
The Demirer lab was awarded the inaugural CCE Innovation Award this year with the project titled "Engineering genetically-encoded nanoparticles for efficient protein delivery in plants".
Graduate student, and the first member of the Demirer lab, Mark Legendre was fundamental in the application process. He is primarily focused on in planta protein delivery strategies for plant genetic engineering. In this project, the Demirer lab aims to address the persistent challenge of delivery of functional biomolecules across the impervious plant cell wall, which presents a transport problem for intracellular delivery that does not exist for mammalian cells. The lab's unique approach draws inspiration from the innate abilities of plant viruses to design an entirely protein-based self-assembled nanoparticle delivery platform, called plant virus-like particles (pVLPs), for use in DNA-free plant genome editing to generate climate change resilient and sustainable crops.
The second 2023 CCE Innovation Award recipients were Max Robb and Mikhail Shapiro for "Precision Drug Delivery from Mechanochemically Programmed Polymers".
The CCE Innovation Awards are granted by the CCE Chair's Council, which aims to provide seed funding for a new research direction that is not currently funded.