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Alicia Aquino

Mentor: Matt DeLisa


Worcester Polytechnic Institute – B.S. in Chemical Engineering, 2013-2017

Awards and Honors

  • Cornell – NSF Graduate Research Fellow, 2017
  • WPI – Strage Innovation Awards finalist, 2016
  • WPI – Charles O. Thompson Scholar, 2014
  • WPI – Dean’s List, 2013-2017

Research Experience:

  • Research Assistant with Prof. Terri Camesano (WPI), 2014-2017
  • Research Intern with Prof. François Lapicque at École Nationale Supérieure des Industries Chimiques (Jan-Mar 2017)
  • Research Assistant with Prof. Nancy Burnham (WPI), Summer 2014

Current Research Activities:

Protein glycosylation is a post-translational modification that attaches a carbohydrate chain known as a glycan to a polypeptide. These modifications play an integral role in the function of proteins, and thus are expected to play an invaluable role in the development of next-generation therapeutics. The industry standard platform for production of glycoprotein therapeutics are CHO cells, but this platform is limited by inability to precisely control glycosylation of the target protein, which ultimately alters the safety and efficacy of the final product. To address this challenge, the goal of my research is to develop a “glycosylation-on-a-chip” device that can directly manufacture therapeutic glycosylated proteins outside of a cell. This will be done by mimicking the natural glycosylation steps that occur in living cells, where compartmentalization allows for high spatial and temporal control, using a microfluidic device containing enzymes that facilitate glycosylation.

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