Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy to detect kinase signaling"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Fall 2013 - DURI
Research area(s):
cell biology, nanotechnology, signaling, cancer biology
Project Description:
We are developing methods to detect kinase activity by monitoring the phosphorylation of substrate peptides attached to metal nanoparticles. We hypothesize that when an attached peptide is phosphorylated, we will detect a change in its Raman spectrum (which is enhanced by the attachment to the metal nanoparticle), 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 live 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 properties of the nanoparticles and any changes in the surface-enhanced Raman spectrum that occur in response to substrate peptide phosphorylation.
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
Students who have passed organic chemistry I (e.g. MCMP 204) and who have some familiarity with peptide synthesis, kinase assays and nanoparticle synthesis are preferred.
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?
Yes, 2 credit hours

Professor in Charge

Parker, Laurie
medicinal chem/molecular pharmacology

Student Supervisor

Alyssa Garrelts, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate

Cooperating Faculty

Joseph Irudayaraj
Agricultural and Biological Engineering