Michael P. Rout PhD, Bay Area Lyme Emerging Leader Award recipientProfessor and Head of Laboratory, Laboratory of Cellular and Structural Biology, The Rockefeller University

Project description: Nanobodies for the Development of Lyme Disease Diagnostic Tests

Dr. Rout and colleagues are investigating nanobodies, a class of small antibody-like molecules derived from llamas and related species, for potential use in rapid point-of-care diagnostics or as therapeutics. For his ELA project, he will be developing nanobodies with high affinity and avidity to Borrelia proteins that can be developed into sensitive Lyme Disease diagnostic tests.

Dr. Michael Rout is a Professor and Head of Laboratory, Laboratory of Cellular and Structural Biology at the Rockefeller University.  Dr. Rout is interested in how proteins assemble to form the dynamic assemblies comprising cells, and in the nature of diseases associated with alterations in those assemblies. He has focused on the nuclear pore complex, and by systematically developing and applying structural and interactomic approaches, he and his colleagues have computed three-dimensional maps of its architecture, sufficient to resolve its molecular organization and provide insights into how it transports macromolecules between the nucleus and cytoplasm.

Dr. Rout has formed the National Center for Dynamic Interactome Research, which includes several collaborating laboratories at Rockefeller and other institutions. This center is developing the methodologies required to obtain a comprehensive map of protein interactions within any organism, and to study their dynamic behaviors. This will allow researchers to explore the utility of the technology for functional elucidation of complex biological processes, with a strong focus on infectious disease.

Dr. Rout earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology from University of Cambridge and has B.A. and M.A degrees in zoology. His diagnostic project was selected for a 2021Emerging Leader Award, a $250,000 grant.