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Holland Lab | Holland Lab Awarded New AFOSR Grant
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Holland Lab Awarded New AFOSR Grant

Holland Lab Awarded New AFOSR Grant

In September 2023, the Holland Lab was awarded a new AFOSR grant. The grant is titled: “Elucidating the Intrinsically Disordered State, Supramolecular Assembly and Protein Condensates in Natural Materials Formation”. The grant is for 800K and will fund research in understanding spider silk formation. The grant will focus on the intrinsically disordered state, how silk proteins assemble and an intermediate step triggered by liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) in spider silk formation. The research will focus on both native and recombinant spider silk protein systems and rely heavily on solution and solid-state NMR, and our growing use of molecular dynamics (MD) simulation and NMR computational tools to determine spider silk protein conformational ensembles. The LLPS intermediate step is a new phenomenon in the context of biomaterials formation and solution NMR will play a key role in determining the atomic level interactions responsible for the formation of these unique phases. Our MD component will be bolstered by a new collaboration with Prof. Chris Lorenz’s Lab at King’s College London. For more on Chris’ Lab see here: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/chris-lorenz