This past week in BSURF, we had chalk talks all week. What this meant was that every single BSURFer stood up in front of the rest of us and explained what they are researching this summer while drawing helpful diagrams on a board. As nerve-wracking as it was for everyone, I really enjoyed learning about what everyone was doing this summer.
One chalk talk in particular that stood out to me was Cam’s. Cam’s talk was titled “ELP in Drug Delivery.” I’ve always been very interested in how drugs work in the body, and would love to take classes about these mechanisms in the future. Cam explained how an issue that exists with many drugs in today’s medicinal world is that they require a large dosage because they do not stay in the body for very long. Her research involves trying to create a system that will address this issue to make drug therapy more effective.
She’s doing this through the use of ELP’s or elastin-like polypeptides. ELPs are large and can change solubility, which means they can last longer in the body. She explained how at higher temperatures, ELPs are insoluble, and at lower temperatures they are soluble. This characteristic makes them an interesting target for research because scientists have the potential to modify conditions in a way that will allow ELPs to change solubility in such a way that the drug will last in the body. So, her research involves obtaining, purifying, and using these ELPs to attach proteins to them to hopefully increase the amount of time that these proteins can thus last in the body.
Overall, I think this is such an interesting topic of study and I really enjoyed Cam’s chalk talk! I can’t wait to hear more about how her research is progressing by the end of the summer!