ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology

Synthetic Biology


7, Aug 2023

Poster win caps off successful year

Estefania Giannini has been rewarded for her work on a versatile new method for characterising protein to protein interactions in living cells.

She won Best Microbiology Poster at the recent Australian Society of Microbiology (ASM) conference in Perth.

‘The characterisation of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) is crucial for understanding biological processes and their study is a very active research field,’ she says.

‘Understanding how proteins interact inside cells is crucial because proteins work together to regulate essential processes such as cell function, growth, and disease development,’ she says.

‘Knowing how these interactions occur helps us grasp the underlying mechanisms of life and aids in developing targeted therapies for various health conditions. Additionally, this knowledge is valuable for biotechnology applications, as it enables us to engineer organisms to manufacture products and develop innovative solutions to address various challenges. ‘

Existing methods to study protein interactions have drawbacks. They often cannot accurately replicate the natural conditions where these interactions happen, or they are not practical for studying interactions among large numbers of proteins. We are developing a new and broadly applicable method to overcome these issues. The method makes it possible to analyse large numbers of protein interactions in their natural environment within living cells.

‘Working with Dr Artur Wlodarczyk, we are taking advantage of the unique bioengineering capacities of the Australian Genome Foundry at Macquarie University to achieve a comprehensive characterisation of the method.

We expect this project will be impactful in many research areas, including cell biology, therapeutic discovery, and biotechnology, advancing our capacity to study protein interactions in multiple biological systems. ‘

The poster wins caps off a successful year for Estefania who also won People’s Choice Award at the ECR Showcase competition at Macquarie University, presenting on Engineering Symbiotic Relationships