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Deniz Akpinaraglo


Deniz credits her curiosity in biophysical phenomena for her decision to study Bioengineering. She has participated in several research opportunities over her undergraduate career. In 2018, Denizjoined the Center for Cellular and Biomolecular Machines and Dr. Arvind Gopinath’s lab to mimic spermatozoa motility using Brownian dynamics simulations. She identified canonical deformation states and used these phenomenological categories to perform computational experiments that successfully mimicked the observed instability patterns. In 2019, Denizparticipated in the Stanford Summer Research Program and joined Dr. Jessica Feldman’s lab to study the localization and function of a Partition abnormal protein in the intestine of C. Elegans embryos. Utilizing confocal microscopy, she identified PAR-1 to localize in the apico-basolateral junctions based on fluorescence signals. Denizconcluded that PAR-1 contributes to the maintenance of the intestine after depleting it to observe function. In 2020, she participated in the Rosetta Commons Summer Research Program after becoming interested in studying proteins. As a scholar in Dr. Jeffrey Gray’s lab at Johns Hopkins University, her main goal was to improve antibody structure prediction using deep learning. She implemented a network for side chain predictions based on DeepH3. With this opportunity, Denizdiscovered my passion for protein engineering and solving complex biomolecular problems. In March 2021, Denizdecided to join the UC Berkeley –UC San Francisco Joint Graduate Program in Bioengineering. Her ultimate goal is to lead a team of scientists on cutting-edge protein engineering and drug design research as a professor.

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