Pronouns: she, her, hers
Research Mentor(s): Yang Zhang, Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Department of Computational Medicine & Bioinformatics, Michigan Medicine
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 3 (1pm-1:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 17
The Programmed Cell Death Protein 1 (PD-1)/Programmed Cell Death Ligand 1 (PD-L1) pathway is crucial in the immune system’s response to cells in the human body. When PD-L1 binds to PD-1 it helps to prevent T-cells from killing other cells, including cancer cells which allows for tumor growth. We used an physics-based approach, EvoEF2, to create an artificial protein based on the structure of PD-1 to competitively bind to PD-L1. We are hoping to show through our binding experiment analyses that our designed proteins will have a stronger binding affinity to PD-L1 than PD-1. While PD-1 inhibitor drugs have been developed they are not completely effective, finding more effective ways to block this pathway could be an important step in future cancer drug research.