Griswold Research Group
Enzymes have the potential to revolutionize a huge array of technical fields including but not limited to chemical synthesis, biofuel production, waste remediation, and treatment of human disease. Unfortunately, evolution of enzymes in their natural context frequently places constraints and limitations on their functionality in environments typical of practical applications. The Griswold research laboratory seeks to circumvent these limitations by developing and applying protein engineering techniques to redesign nature's biocatalysts at the molecular level. Our objective is to generate novel biomolecules that exhibit superior activity relative to their natural counterparts. Previous work has used Glutathione Transferases as a model system for developing cutting edge recombinant DNA library construction techniques and new ultra-high throughput functional screens. Current projects in the lab are focused on developing novel Biomolecular Antimicrobial Therapies, optimizing Gene Library Construction Technologies, and designing new High Throughput Ester Hydrolase Screens that may be useful for engineering biocatalysts to efficiently produce pharmaceutical intermediates.
In addition to the practical side of our research, our studies allow us to form and test various hypotheses regarding fundamental questions of protein structure-function relationships, causes of exogenous protein immunogenicity, mechanisms of microbial persistence at sites of infection, and can even yield information relevant to proteins' natural evolutionary pathways.
Students and scientists working in the lab gain a first hand appreciation for interdisciplinary research. All group members attain a breadth of knowledge in the chemical, biological and engineering sciences, but at the same time individuals learn that ground breaking protein engineering projects require cross-disciplinary collaborations with experts in fields as diverse as clinical medicine, computer programming, immunology, physiology, synthetic chemistry, structural biology, microbiology, and chemical engineering. As such, we work closely with numerous Collaborators across various departments at Dartmouth and beyond. Scientists trained in the Griswold lab are prepared to work at the interface of multiple disciplines, and they can expect that their unique background will position them for successful careers in either academia or industry.