Markita del Carpio Landry

2023 Polymaths Award Winner

Studying the immunology of breast milk for better health outcomes for moms and infants 

Dr. Markita Landry is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Landry studied single-molecule polymer elasticity with high-resolution optical traps during her PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and developed microscopy approaches to image nanoparticle surfaces with single-molecule resolution during her postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Today, Dr. Landry serves as a consultant and member of scientific advisory boards for several major agricultural companies and is the co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Biophilia Genetics.

The Landry Lab has developed a suite of optical probes that enable synaptic-scale imaging of neuromodulators and neuropeptides that govern development and whose aberrant signaling leads to psychiatric and neurodegenerative disease. The Landry Lab has also discovered a class of nanomaterials that enables passive delivery of genetic material into plants which has greatly advanced plant synthetic biology. Visit the Landry Lab website for more information on their work.

Planned Polymaths Work: With the Polymaths award, Dr. Landry’s research team will apply chemical and biomolecular engineering as well as gene delivery expertise, to investigate well-documented yet under-studied mechanisms underlying immunological benefits of breast milk for infants and to develop therapeutic applications for infant and maternal health.