Nanoscale Construction with DNA

Friday, March 7, 2014 - 2:00pm
Fung Auditorium, Powell-Focht Bioengineering Hall
Shawn Douglas

Assistant Professor with Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology

University of California San Francisco

Nanoscale Construction with DNA


The programmability of DNA makes it an attractive material for constructing intricate nanoscale shapes. One method for creating these structures is DNA origami, in which a multiple-kilobase single-stranded 'scaffold' is folded into a custom nanoscale shape by interacting with hundreds of short oligonucleotide 'staple' strands. I will talk about our efforts to realize demand- meeting applications with this method, including our recent development of nanoscale devices to mimic cell‐signaling stimulation carried out by our own immune systems.


Shawn Douglas earned a B.S. in Computer Science at Yale in 2003, and then a Ph.D. in Biophysics at Harvard in 2009, working in the laboratories of William Shih and George Church. He stayed at Harvard as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and recently started his own lab as an Assistant Professor at UCSF. He was named as one of Popular Science magazine's "Brilliant 10” in 2012 and holds Career Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.