News from our lab
July 2020 Two students from our lab have their profiles featured on the CHBE department webpage. Learn more about PhD student Wright and undergraduate Andrea by clicking on their names to read their profiles.
July 2020 Parisa Moghaddam-Taaheri and Jesse Leissa's paper on using a histatin 5-based peptide to inhibit biofilms is accepted by Fungal Genetics and Biology and will be part of a special issue focused on the mycobiome. This work was a collaboration with Haleigh Eppler and Chris Jewell (a.k.a. Dr. Karlsson's husband!).
July 2020 Our collaboration to develop capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry methods to study histatin 5 and its degradation products is published in the July 21, 2020, issue of Analyst and is featured on the front cover of the issue. Read the article here!
June 2020 Sayanee Adhikari successfully defends her thesis focused on designing cell-penetrating peptides for carrying protein cargo into fungal cells. Congratulations, Dr. Adhikari, and good luck as you transition to your next position!
June 2020 Undergraduate Martina Mensah joins the lab to work on our cell-penetrating peptide work. Welcome to the lab, Martina!
March 2020 Undergraduate Katherine Sniezek has made her graduate school decision! She will be starting as a PhD student in chemical engineering at Princeton University next year. Congratulations!
February 2020 Sayanee and Jesse's review paper on engineering peptides appears in the March 2020 issue of the AIChE Journal, which honors Frances Arnold. Read our paper and the other excellent papers here.
January 2020 The Karlsson Lab and Dr. Jeffery Klauda's lab have received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the intracellular interaction of proteins and lipids using experiments and simulations.
January 2020 Our lab expands! Dinara Konakbayeva and Wright Makambi join the lab as PhD students, Marzy Kheradmand-Hajibashi joins the lab as an MS student and Jiwon Yu joins the lab as an undergraduate student. Welcome to the lab, Dinara, Wright, Marzy, and Jiwon!
January 2020 Svetlana Ikonomova's paper studying degradation of the antimicrobial peptide histatin 5 and several variants appears in the February 2020 issue of Protein Science. Read the paper here.
December 2019 The Karlsson Lab receives a grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) to design and study variants of the salivary peptide histatin 5 for their antifungal activity and proteolytic stability.
November 2019 Zifan Gong's paper appears in the December 2019 issue of the AIChE Journal as part of the "Futures" issue focused on recognizing emerging faculty in chemical engineering. You can read the paper here.
November 2019 Dr. Karlsson attends the AIChE Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL, to present the lab's work in two invited presentations in sessions focused on emerging antimicrobial methods and on the emerging faculty in chemical engineering.
November 2019 Svetlana Ikonomova's paper studying degradation of the antimicrobial peptide histatin 5 and several variants is accepted by Protein Science. Parisa Moghaddam-Taaheri also contributed to the work, along with our excellent collaborators Yan Wang, Mary Doolin, Kim Stroka, and Bernie Hube. You can read the paper here.
August 2019 Undergraduate student Vince Wedekind joins the lab. Welcome to the group!
August 2019 Sayanee and Jesse's review paper on engineering peptides to improve their therapeutic potential has been accepted by the AIChE Journal for an issue honoring Frances Arnold.
August 2019 Our work to engineer cell-penetrating peptides for improved translocation has been accepted by the AIChE Journal for the upcoming "Futures" special issue. The work was led by Zifan Gong and assisted by a collaboration with Kim Stroka's laboratory.
July 2019 Jesse Leissa successfully defends his MS thesis focused on engineering histatin 5 analogs and incorporating them into surface coatings. Jesse will continue his career at AstraZeneca in Gaithersburg. Congratulations!
June 2019 Undergraduate students Katherine Sniezek and Andrea Fox join the lab. Welcome!
May 2019 Dr. Karlsson has been promoted to associate professor with tenure (effective in August). Thanks to all our current and former laboratory members, along with Dr. Karlsson's mentors, friends, and family who helped along the way. And, of course, a big thanks to her wonderful husband for all of his support!
May 2019 Undergraduate Neha Kalla, a long-time member of the lab, graduates with her BS in chemical engineering. Neha will be moving to North Carolina to work for Pfizer. Congratulations and good luck, Neha!
May 2019 Undergraduate Funke Okunrinboye awarded Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation Undergraduate Research Program funding to continue her research in our laboratory this summer. Congratulations!
April 2019 Sayanee Adhikari passes her PhD proposal exam to officially become a PhD candidate in chemical engineering. Congratulations, Sayanee!
March 2019 Sayanee and Mahdi attend the Biophysical Society Annual Meeting to present their work.
January 2019 Sayanee receives a Sengers Travel Award from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering to support attendance at the Biophysical Society Meeting in March. Sayanee will present her recent work with Mahdi on designing cell-penetrating peptides to target Candida albicans. Congratulations!
January 2019 Dr. Karlsson attends the International Conference of Biomolecular Engineering and presents the lab's work on engineering histatin 5 for improved antifungal activity and half-life.
December 2018 Sayanee receives a Jacob K. Goldhaber Travel Grant from the University of Maryland Graduate School to support her attendance at the Biophysical Society Meeting in March, where she will present her work (with Mahdi) on designing cell-penetrating peptides to target Candida albicans. Congratulations!
December 2018 Sayanee's paper is now available to download from the Journal of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology. Find it here.
November 2018 Dr. Karlsson participates in the Bioscience Day Pitch Competition, which gives invited faculty members the chance to prepare and present a mock investor pitch based on technology developed in their labs.
October 2018 The 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded to researchers working in protein engineering, including chemical engineer Frances Arnold!
September 2018 Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering undergraduate Funke Okunrinboye joins the lab. Welcome!
September 2018 Sayanee's manuscript on the expression of cell-penetrating peptide fusions to cargo proteins is accepted by the Journal of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology. This paper includes contributions from former undergraduate Turki Alahmadi and former PhD student Zifan Gong. Congratulations on your first publication, Sayanee!
August 2018 Our new group picture is live! Thanks again to Shakiba (Woehl Lab) for taking the group pictures and several of the new pictures of our group members. If you'd like to see more group pictures, you can find them on the PICTURES page.
July 2018 Parisa successfully defends her PhD thesis on antibody engineering and antifungal peptide design. Congratulations, Dr. Moghaddam-Taaheri, and good luck with your consulting career!
May 2018 We finally took new group pictures, which will soon be appearing in presentations and on the the web page. Thanks to Sayanee for organizing and to Shakiba (Woehl Lab) for serving as our photographer--and for joining us for a lab selfie!
May 2018 Undergraduates Tom and Katherine join the group after learning about protein engineering in their BIOE120 class. Welcome to the lab!
April 2018 Crazy about Candida! Dr. Karlsson attends the American Society for Microbiology Conference on Candida and Candidiasis in Providence, RI, to present our lab's work on engineering protease-resistant variants of the salivary peptide histatin 5 and to learn about all of the exciting work being done in the Candida community.
April 2018 Former undergraduate Mack Walls was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship for his work at Princeton University.
January 2018 Jesse Leissa joins the lab as an MS student. Welcome to the group, Jesse!
January 2018 Parisa's review on techniques for labeling proteins in live cells with a focus on immunological applications was accepted by Bioconjugate Chemistry. Great work, Parisa! You can read the paper here.
January 2018 Svet, Neha, and Megan's manuscript on the effect of linkers on immobilization of scFvs was accepted by Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry. This paper represents excellent work by our undergraduates Neha and Megan, along with excellent mentoring by former PhD student Svet.
December 2017 Zifan's manuscript exploring the secondary structure of cell-penetrating peptides during their interaction with fungal cells is accepted by Protein Science. Svet also helped with this work, which combines experiments with molecular modeling to evaluate peptide structure and activity in the presence of cell membranes.
November 2017 Svet's manuscript on engineering histatin 5 variants resistant to C. albicans secreted aspartic proteases is accepted by the FEBS Journal! Parisa also contributed to this paper, along with collaborators Yan Wang (University of Maryland Proteomics Core) and Mary-Ann Jabra-Rizk (University of Maryland Dental School and School of Medicine).
October 2017 Dr. Karlsson attends the AIChE annual meeting to present on recent work in the lab, including a talk on Zifan's work to study the structure of cell-penetrating peptides and an invited talk about our lab's work to engineer peptides to target fungal pathogens.
August 2017 Former high school student researcher Rosemary Iwuala receives an American Chemical Society scholarship. This is a great honor! Rosemary is currently an undergraduate at Cornell University.
July 2017 Sayanee Adhikari successfully defends her M.S. thesis on the expression of cell-penetrating peptide fusions to protein cargoes. We are happy that she is continuing in the lab as a PhD student!
July 2017 Svet successfully defends her PhD thesis on antibody immobilization and antifungal peptide design to become our second PhD graduate. She will soon continue her research career as a postdoc in Danielle Tullman's lab at Northwestern. Congratulations, Dr. Ikonomova!
June 2017 Zifan successfully defends his PhD thesis focused on engineering cell-penetrating peptides to target Candida fungal pathogens to become our lab's first doctoral graduate. Zifan will soon start at Pfizer in St. Louis as a senior scientist working in formulations. Congratulations, Dr. Gong!
June 2017 Svetlana Ikonomova receives the presentation award for this year's ResearchFest, a graduate-student organized research symposium in the Clark School of Engineering.
May 2017 Zifan Gong's manuscript on cell-penetrating peptide translocation in Candida cells is accepted by Protein Science. Read it online here!
May 2017 Undergraduates Tomer and Janna graduate with B.S. degrees in bioengineering. Congratulations!
May 2017 Svetlana Ikonomova is awarded the Outstanding Graduate Assistant Award by the University of Maryland Graduate School. We already knew she was outstanding, so we're happy others are recognizing it, too! Read more here.
April 2017 Parisa receives second place in the health category for her poster on engineering antibodies at the University of Maryland's Graduate Research Appreciation Day. Congratulations, Parisa!
April 2017 Dr. Karlsson attends the American Chemical Society national meeting in San Francisco to present our lab's work and learn about the exciting new work from other researchers around the world.
February 2017 Our work to design an improved antifungal therapy for oral Candida infections is selected as a finalist for UMD's Invention of the Year in the Life Sciences category. This project was done in collaboration with Mary Ann Jabra-Rizk at the University of Maryland Dental School. Read more about it here.
January 2017 Svet and Dr. Karlsson present at the International Conference on Biomolecular Engineering in San Diego, CA.
November 2016 Svet receives one of only four Food, Pharmaceutical, and Bioengineering Division oral presentation awards for her AIChE talk on engineering histatin 5 for protease resistance. The competition was strong, so this is a big accomplishment.
November 2016 Svet and Zifan present their work at the AIChE Annual Meeting in San Francisco. And Dr. Karlsson and Svet go ice skating in Union Square!
October 2016 Parisa's JoVE video and manuscript on bacterial inner-membrane display are now available on the JoVE website. Our lab members are movie stars!
October 2016 Zifan's paper on the effect of a flexible linker on the expression of cell-penetrating peptide fusions has been accepted by Molecular Biotechnology. This work was a collaboration between Zifan, former undergraduate Mack, and former high school student Alisha. Nice job, Zifan, Mack, and Alisha!
August 2016 Parisa Moghaddam-Taaheri passes her PhD proposal exam to officially become a PhD candidate in bioengineering Congratulations, Parisa!
July 2016 Our lab receives a Tier 1 - Faculty Incentive Program grant from the University of Maryland's research development office to support our work to engineer intracellular antibodies.
July 2016 Svet's paper on antibody fragment immobilization appears in the August 2016 issue of the Journal of Immunological Methods. Find it here.
June 2016 Zifan Gong passes his PhD proposal exam to advance officially to PhD candidate status. Congratulations!
May 2016 Graduate student Svetlana Ikonomova is awarded a National Institutes of Health Host-Pathogen Interactions training grant (T32) fellowship. This is a big honor that is well deserved! She will use the fellowship to continue her work on the salivary peptide histatin-5.
May 2016 Undergraduate Mack Walls graduates with a BS in chemical engineering. Mack will be attending Princeton University in the fall as a PhD student in chemical engineering. Thanks for all your hard work!
April 2016 Our Maryland Day activity was a success! We showed our protein engineering superhero skills and turned many kids into superheroes, too. We'll be back again next year to reprise our role.
April 2016 Continuing a very successful month in our lab, Svet's paper on antibody fragment immobilization has been accepted by the Journal of Immunological Methods. If you need a quick and easy way to immobilize proteins, Svet is now a verified expert. Congratulations!
April 2016 Parisa's manuscript on bacterial inner membrane display for screening antibody libraries has been accepted by the Journal of Visualized Experiments. This paper represents some excellent teamwork among our group members, with some particularly hard work by Parisa. Nice job, everyone!
April 2016 Our lab will have a fun activity on protein engineering for kids (and kids-at-heart!) at this year's Maryland Day festivities on Saturday, April 30. Stop by our table to see what it's like to be a Protein Engineering Superhero and learn about the work in our lab!
April 2016 Dr. Karlsson attends the American Society for Microbiology's Conference on Candida and Candidiasis in Seattle, WA, to present Svet's work on the antifungal peptide histatin-5 and Zifan's work on cell-penetrating peptides.
April 2016 PhD students Parisa, Svet, and Zifan present their work at the Graduate Research Appreciate Day at the University of Maryland. Parisa received a second-place award for her poster, and Zifan received a second-place award for his talk. Nice work!
April 2016 Undergraduate Mack Walls attends the AIChE Mid-Atlantic Student Regional Conference at the Univeristy of Delaware to present his work with Zifan on expressing cell-penetrating peptide fusions.
March 2016 Undergraduate Mack Walls receive an honorable mention award in the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Great job, Mack!
March 2016 Chemical engineering undergraduate Neha Kalla and bioengineering undergraduate Turki Alahmedi join our lab. Welcome to the group!
March 2016 Dr. Karlsson presents Parisa's work on antibody engineering and Svet's work on antimicrobial peptide engineering at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Diego, CA.
February 2016 PhD student Svetlana presents an oral presentation at the Gordon Research Seminar and a poster at the Gordon Research Conference on the Chemistry and Biology of Peptides in Ventura, CA.
January 2016 Sayanee Adhikari joins our lab as an MS student. Welcome to the lab, Sayanee!
December 2015 Svetlana Ikonomova passes her PhD proposal exam, the first student in our lab to do this. Woo-hoo!
December 2015 Undergraduate Mack Walls was awarded first place for his poster presentation at the OXE Undergraduate Research Day. Mack presented his work on expression of cell-penetrating peptide fusions to a cargo protein, which is performed under the mentorship of PhD student Zifan Gong. Congratulations, Mack!
November 2015 Graduate student Zifan Gong receives the first-place CHBE TA of the Year Award. This award honors his exceptional performance as a teaching assistant for CHBE 426 (Chemical and Biomolecular Separation Processes). Great work, Zifan!
November 2015 Dr. Karlsson presents Svet's work on antibody fragment immobilization at the AIChE Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City.
July 2015 The Karlsson Lab receives a grant from the Biomedical Engineering program in the Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems Division of the National Science Foundation. The grant is focused on studying the interaction of cell-penetrating peptides with C. albicans and engineering peptides for improved translocation.
May 2015 Dr. Karlsson receives the Clark School’s ENGAGED Faculty Award for excellence in teaching. Dr. Karlsson teaches the junior-level Separation Processes course and the senior-level Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Laboratory course.
May 2015 Undergraduate student Janna Wisniewski, a participant in the College Park Scholars Global Public Health Program, receives runner-up honors in the College Park Scholars 2015 Academic Showcase Poster Contest. She presented her poster on "Biomolecular Solutions for Public Health: Engineering Antibody Fragments for Cancer Protein Binding." Way to go, Janna!
April 2015 Undergraduate student Mack Walls receives a summer ASPIRE Research Scholarship to continue his work on cell-penetrating peptide design. Congratulations, Mack!
January 2015 Svet is selected to be a Clark School Future Faculty Fellow. The Future Faculty Fellow program helps prepare selected doctoral students for careers in academia.
January 2015 Dr. Karlsson, Svet, Zifan, and Parisa attend the International Conference on Biomolecular Engineering in Lost Pines, TX. Parisa presented a poster on her work to engineer intracellular intrabodies for cancer, and Dr. Karlsson co-chaired a session on protein engineering and evolution.
November 2014 Graduate student Zifan Gong wins third place in the Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology category for his poster presentation at Bioscience Day at the University of Maryland. Zifan presented his work on expressing antibody fragments in yeast species. Congratulations, Zifan!
November 2014 Graduate student Svetlana Ikonomova presents her work on antibody fragment immobilization at the AIChE Annual Meeting in Atlanta.
October 2014 Graduate student Svetlana Ikonomova is co-winner of the CHBE TA of the Year Award. This award honors her exceptional performance as a teaching assistant for CHBE 101 (Introduction to Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) and CHBE 437 (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Laboratory).
June 2014 In the 2014 UMD-UMB seed grant competition to support collaborations between the University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore, our lab receives a grant to work with Prof. Mary Ann Jabra-Rizk at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and Steve Hoag at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy on the development of a novel antifungal agent.
May 2014 Dr. Karlsson is awarded a 2014 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award sponsored by Oak Ridge Associated Universities for our work on developing intrabodies as tools for studying proteins in yeast.
April 2014 PhD student Svet Ikonomova is awarded an honorable mention in the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Congratulations!
March 2014 Bioengineering PhD student Parisa Moghaddam-Taaheri joins our lab. Welcome to the group!
January 2014 Zifan Gong is now a PhD student.
January 2014 Chemical and biomolecular engineering undergraduate student Mayuri Khatri joins the lab.
December 2013 We are looking for a postdoc to join our group. Experience in molecular biology, yeast (or other fungi), or protein expression is highly desirable. A PhD in chemical engineering, bioengineering, microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, or a related field is required. Please send a cover letter (explaining your background and interest in our lab), your CV, and the names of three references to Dr. Karlsson.
December 2013 Dr. Karlsson receives a University of Maryland Research and Scholarship Award for Summer 2014.
September 2013 Bioengineering undergraduate student Woojin Han joins the lab.
July 2013 The Karlsson Lab moves into our renovated laboratory space. Stop by and visit us in 2304 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building!
May 2013 Dr. Karlsson receives a Minta Martin Award to support our group's research.
January 2013 PhD student Svetlana Ikonomova and MS student Zifan Gong join the Karlsson Lab. Welcome to our first graduate students!
September 2012 Undergraduate students Teddy Wescott, Kirsten Smulovitz, Vivi He, and Amanda Filie join the Karlsson Lab. Welcome to the group!
August 2012 Dr. Amy J. Karlsson arrives at the University of Maryland and begins as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.