Mighty, Tiny design for improving drug delivery

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UNSW’s Team Tiny Trap cleaned up at the 2016 BIOMOD, Biomolecular Design competition with their innovative design for targeted drug delivery.

Team Tiny Trap created a novel nanostructure that captures drug, like a mousetrap, by folding strands of DNA – called DNA origami. The trapped drug can be delivered straight to cancer cells, reducing unwanted side effects associated with traditional, broad-acting therapies.

The Grand Prize – determined by the combined score of all the categories – was awarded to Team Tiny Trap, who took out Best Project Website, Best YouTube video, Best Presentation, and received Audience Choice, and Gold Class Project Awards.

BIOMOD is an international, undergraduate research competition created by The Wyss Institute at Harvard University. The team from downunder – the only entry from the southern hemisphere in fact – beat 23 other teams to the Grand Prize, including teams from USA, Canada, Germany, India, China, Korea and Japan.

Collectively, the members who comprised Team Tiny Trap were undergraduates of Chemistry, Materials Science, Biotechnology and Engineering (Chemical, Biomedical, Bioinformatics, and Telecommunications).

This interdisciplinary team was supervised by Single Molecule Science Group Leader, Dr Lawrence Lee, and members of his group. Lawrence was very proud of his team who were victorious despite the demands of their undergraduate courses.

“Unlike other teams, who were able to work on their projects over their summer vacation, our students were, and are currently, juggling assignments and impending exams upon their return.”

Leading a BIOMOD team to victory is not new to Lawrence, who also supervised 2014 Grand Prize winners, Team EchiDNA, and Team Injectimod, winners of a Gold Class Project Award last year.

Read the full story by Dan Wheelahan here.


Sue Min Liu

Date Published: 
Tuesday, 22 November 2016