Mary Gates Endowment For Students

Shreya Rajgopal

Mary Gates Research Scholar, Summer 2021 (CoMotion Scholar)

Research Project: De novo Designed Biosensor Diagnostic Technology for Rapid At Home Detection of Spike Protein from SARS-CoV-2 virus

Project Description: The Institute for Protein Design (IPD) has used de novo computational protein design to develop a novel diagnostic biosensor technology that detects the Spike protein from the virus itself. This biosensor would be embedded in a mask and would require only a spray of substrate to reveal a luminescent or colour change signal within minutes for rapid readout. This novel diagnostic should stop the spread of infection and save numerous lives by enabling people to detect the infection before they even begin experiencing symptoms. To evaluate the commercial potential and profitability of this sensor mask, I constructed an expected net present valuation (eNPV) model for the full development and sale of this product through its patent lifetime. 

What have you learned throughout your research project?

Through this research project, I was able to gain a better understanding of the healthcare commercialization process. I learned how to construct and use the eNPV model to develop a business case analysis for a novel diagnostic technology, under the guidance of Dr. Lance Stewart. I also got the opportunity to gain experience in protein purification under the mentorship of Ms. Rashmi Ravichandran and Andy Yeh at the Baker Lab. 

What piece of advice do you have for future CoMotion applicants?

Always keep an open mind and never underestimate yourself!