We are pleased to present two students who are close to the end of their PhD here at AIBN to share their research with you.

Date: Thursday, 4 November

Time: 12 - 1pm

Venue: Online Via Zoom

Click here to access the free seminar.


A SERS based nano-mesoporous gold platform to analyse immune checkpoint proteomic heterogeneity in single cancer cells

Mr Emtiaz Ahmed, Trau Group, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, UQ

Immune checkpoint proteins play a distinctive role in the immune system of cancer patients and could provide invaluable information about the crosstalk between tumor and immune cells. Identification of the key role-playing checkpoint proteins has been considered to be critical factors in cancer diagnosis and therapy monitoring. However, the extremely low concentration of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in liquid biopsy and the heterogeneity in tumor cells create a strong barrier in identifying the right checkpoints playing the crucial role. In this study, we develop a highly sensitive nanostructured mesoporous gold (NMG) biosensor integrated with a Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) readout to identify and monitor the expression of key checkpoint markers in lung cancer cells. Using the NMG platform and a lung cancer cell line model (HCC827), we have increased the SERS signal by two orders of magnitude which ensured our system to analyze single cancer cells and four different checkpoint proteins in each cell surface simultaneously. One of the most important features of our assay is that it can address the cancer cell heterogeneity by measuring the expression pattern of each checkpoint protein on an individual cell surface. This will not only provide critical information on aggressive cancer cell subsets but also identify which proteins are active to trick the immune system. We believe, these findings will significantly help clinicians to select the right drug to treat the patients and our platform will be significant in cancer diagnosis and therapy monitoring systems.

Photo of Emitaz AhmedAbout Emtiaz:
Emtiaz Ahmed, a third-year PhD student (fully funded) of Trau group, AIBN. He graduated from Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh in 2014 with a Master of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Subsequently, he worked as a ‘Research Officer’ at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) for around five years before joining the AIBN in April 2019. His current research focusing on developing the nanotechnology-based multiplex platform for early diagnosis and treatment monitoring of cancer. So far, he has published seven high-impact research articles in different internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals.




Production of compatible and renewable fuels using abundant resources: Engineering of multi-functional catalyst

Mr Mohamed Ahmed, Wang Group, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, UQ.

The depletion of fossil fuel reserves is a matter of time, and the demand for renewable energy resources is growing dramatically driven by the unprecedented growth of the world population. Moreover, the burning of fossil fuels for energy production boosted the amount of CO2 emissions and caused severe climate changes. Thus, biomass as a renewable and sustainable resource could be a high potential candidate to fill this gap and meet the current and future energy demands. The cost-effective elimination of oxygen content in the bio-oil is the most challenging task facing scientists to commercialize any catalytic pyrolysis process and produce a compatible fuel type. The low amount of hydrogen present in the biomass is neither enough to reduce the high proportion of oxygen which represents ca. 30-50% of the biomass weight, nor sufficient to produce valuable hydrocarbons. The bio-oil upgrading process requires immense hydrogen supplies to eliminate the oxygen and enrich hydrocarbons content. Exploiting cheap hydrogen sources such as waste plastics could significantly reduce the upgrading cost. The demand for a novel multi-functional catalyst, which can efficiently reduce the oxygen content while enhancing the hydrogen transfer reaction and cracking, became essential to ensure the maximum transformation of these resources into valuable fuels and chemicals.

Photo of Mohamad AhmedAbout Mohamed:
Mohamed is a chemical engineer and a PhD candidate at AIBN working under the supervision of Dr. Muxina Konarova. He finished his master degree in 2015, in which he developed a hierarchical catalyst for selective conversion of dimethyl ether to light olefins.
He worked as a research engineer at the center of research excellence in nanotechnology at King Fahd University before starting his PhD. His research focuses on the field of heterogeneous catalysis for different applications, including oil refining, petrochemical industry and recently bio-oil upgrading.

About AIBN Seminar Series

The AIBN Seminar series showcases a range of seminars across different topics and disciplines