Arjan Hazegh Nikroo (Helmond, 1996) obtained his Bachelor and Master degree in Biomedical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology in 2018 and 2022, respectively. For his master thesis in the Chemical Biology group of prof. Luc Brunsveld, he engineered phosphoregulated scaffold proteins by fusing 14-3-3 proteins to inhibitory peptide modules that reversibly block and liberate the 14-3-3 binding pockets via phosphorylation and dephosphorylation. During a subsequent internship at Ambagon Therapeutics, he developed a fluorescence polarization multiplex selectivity assay for compounds that stabilize 14-3-3 protein-protein interactions. Arjan completed his degree with an additional internship at the Discovery & Technology department of MSD Boxmeer. There, he focused on the recombinant expression, purification and characterization of monomeric and dimeric antigen-specific IgA monoclonal antibodies.
As of May 2022, Arjan is a PhD candidate in the Bio-Organic Chemistry group of prof. Jan van Hest. His research is centered on the bottom-up engineering of protein-mediated communication between coacervate-based synthetic cells and living cells. To this end, he applies protein engineering and synthetic biology techniques to develop systems that impart controllability over protein uptake and release in synthetic cells, while also integrating biofunctional proteins, such as cytokines, to elicit desired responses in living cells.
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