Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"Fluorescent nanoparticles for detecting kinase activity"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Spring 2012 - DURI
Research area(s):
cell biology, nanotechnology, signaling
Project Description:
We are developing methods to detect kinase activity by monitoring the phosphorylation of substrate peptides attached to nanoparticles. We hypothesize that incorporating fluorophores into the particles will allow us to detect changes in the fluorescence that are related to phosphorylation of the substrate peptides, but we need to optimize several parameters and perform control experiments to test our hypothesis. If we can develop a technology to detect kinase activity in this way, we will be able to apply it to monitoring the kinase signaling in cancer cells and detecting when those cells are responding appropriately to kinase inhibitor drugs.
Expected Student Contributions:
The intern will be helping to synthesize substrate peptides and nanoparticles, and setting up experiments to test the fluorescence of the nanoparticles and any changes that occur in response to substrate peptide phosphorylation.
Related Website(s):
https://ccehub.org/groups/parkerlab
Desired Qualifications:
Students who have passed organic chemistry I (e.g. MCMP 204) and who have some familiarity with peptide synthesis, kinase assays and polymer nanoparticle synthesis are preferred.
Estimated Weekly Hours:
6
Department awards independent research credits for this project?
Yes, 2 credit hours

Professor in Charge

Name:
Parker, Laurie
Deptartment/College:
medicinal chem/molecular pharmacology

Student Supervisor

Name:
Frank Ankudey
Title:
Graduate student

Cooperating Faculty

Name:
Joseph Irudayaraj
Deptartment/College:
Agricultural and Biological Engineering