MIT SoE — Lord Foundation Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Producing Photosynthesis- Enhanced Ex-Vivo Stable Chloroplasts
Photosynthesis is the ultimate source of energy for biofuel production. Chloroplasts are the organelles in which photosynthesis occurs. Because of their ability to harness solar energy, there is interest in engineering chloroplasts for enhanced photosynthesis. However, chloroplasts have limited stability when isolated, thereby limiting our ability to use chloroplast photosynthetic power as an alternative energy source. Little is known about engineering chloroplasts for long term, stable photosynthesis ex vivo. By interfacing isolated chloroplasts with nanomaterials, we aim to increase the stability of chloroplasts ex vivo and enhance chloroplast photosynthetic capabilities. The production of hyperstable ex vivo chloroplasts will be a key tool for the novel field of plant nanobionics
I have been a UROP in the Strano Lab since my sophomore year. At the Strano Lab, I have been able to gain extensive research experience that has cemented my interest in harnessing the power nanomaterials for a variety of applications. I’m really excited to work at the forefront of plant nanobionics, a field pioneered by the Strano Lab, and explore ways of enhancing natural plant functions with nanomaterials.