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ChE Senior Wins First Place in Undergrad Poster Contest

Dan Ezra Aurian-Blajeni

Dan Ezra Aurian-Blajeni

Dan Ezra Aurian-Blajeni, a recent graduate of the Chemical Engineering B.S. program who works with Chemistry Professor Matthew Holden, earned first place in the 2015 International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineers (ISPE) Boston Area Chapter Student Poster Competition at Worcester Polytechnic Institute on April 16th. The winning poster was entitled “Droplet-Interface Bilayers: An Emerging Technology for Screening Human Ion Channel-Drug Interactions.” The poster was based on the independent project that Aurian-Blajeni has been working on in Dr. Holden's lab.

As the winner, Aurian-Blajeni has been chosen to represent the ISPE Boston Area Chapter in Philadelphia at the 2015 ISPE Annual Meeting in November. There, he will compete in the International Student Poster Competition in the undergraduate category. Winners of the international competition have the opportunity to publish their research in ISPE's Pharmaceutical Engineering magazine, as well as other chapter/affiliate publications.

The abstract is as follows: "The droplet-interface bilayer (DIB) is a novel method to rapidly and reliably create artificial cell membranes. The combination of DIB and in vitro translation (IVT) technologies has the potential to unleash a new method for high-throughput screening against any human ion channel, such as potassium channels that are implicated in some heart diseases. Although this concept has been proven using prokaryotic IVT reagents, maintaining stability in eukaryotic IVT-DIB systems is much more challenging. In this work, the stabilizing effects of two very different experimental strategies are examined and discussed."

Aurian-Blajeni also recently won a Joel Goldenberg Memorial Scholarship from the Boston Area Chapter of ISPE, a non-profit, professional society serving the life sciences industry, including college and university students preparing to enter related fields. (June 2015)