2020 Winner: Protecting Newcastle Disease Vaccine with Intrinsically Disordered Proteins

Project Information
Protecting Newcastle Disease Vaccine with Intrinsically Disordered Proteins
Engineering
BME188A, BME188B (iGEM 2019)
According to the United Nations, hunger affects approximately 10.6% of the world’s population (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2019). In an attempt to combat world hunger, both the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Heifer International are integrating chicken farming into developing nations. These efforts are inhibited by the highly virulent Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV). Due to the lack of a cure or treatment, the only preventable measure against the disease is vaccination. The recommended vaccine, the LaSota type B1 lentogenic strain, must be transported and stored between 2-7◦C (Drugs.com, Updated:2020-02-28). This strictly refrigerated distribution chain, termed the cold chain, poses an economic burden on developing nations. To ameliorate cold chain requirements we researched stabilizers produced by the world’s most resilient micro-animals, tardigrades. Tardigrade-specific intrinsically disordered proteins (TDPs) have the remarkable ability to protect, not only tardigrades, but yeast, bacteria, and enzymes from desiccation and temperature (Boothby et al. (2018), Piszkiewicz et al. (2019)). In this study, we characterized TDPs for use in a formulation to enhance the thermostability of the ND vaccine. We have begun evaluating a novel ND vaccine formulation and developed thermostability assays to compare our formulation against the commercially available LaSota type B1 NDV vaccine. We hypothesize our novel formulation can be applied to other vaccines to increase their accessibility and alleviate the cost of their cold chain requirements.
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Students
  • James Robert Hahn (Cowell)
  • Andrew Walid Zarzar (Nine)
  • Aren Kent Pageler (Crown)
  • Ikenna Francis Anigbogu (Eight)
  • Jiasui Xu (Nine)
  • Jonah Addison Pierce (Merrill)
  • Liana Beld (Eight)
  • Manpreet Kaur (Eight)
  • Marcella Isabella Mirabelli (Stevenson)
  • Marcus-Charles Anderson Kelleher Strauss (Cowell)
  • Martina Victoria Pedersen (Porter)
  • Melody Saravi Azimi (Ten)
  • Rita Mae Ousterhout (Stevenson)
  • Shayan Vahdani (Porter)
  • Varuna Amita Dharasker (Ten)
  • Kaitlyn Nicole Myers (Merrill)
Mentors