Successful vaccines and immune therapies contain more than just bits of harmful bugs; they also contain components that guide our immune response, making them more effective. Duke engineer Joel Collier and his group are hacking proteins’ natural ability to bend, fold, and assemble to create precisely blended vaccines. His team attaches important proteins (modeled here as red, cyan, and green) to short nanofiber segments (grey). When mixed, the proteins self-organize, creating a scaffold that delivers the perfect concoction of chemicals.
To see the entire gallery of 2016 NIH award winners go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/nihgov/albums/72157666897233564/