Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"CPIP: DNA-encoded proteomic probes for detection of cancer-related protease activities "

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Full-Year 2016 - CPIP
Research area(s):
Biochemistry, Bioconjugate Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry
Project Description:
The objective of the project is to develop DNA-encoded probes of protease activity that will enable low-cost, high-throughput profiling of activity in samples by DNA sequence analysis. A number of protease activities are well known to be misrelated in the cancerous cells. The encoding of functional proteomic information in DNA sequence promises to have significant benefits over traditional methods, including highly sensitive detection and capabilities for extensive multiplexing. The eventual aim is to develop a low-cost diagnostic for numerous cancer-associated protease activities that will be useful for the early detection, characterization, and prevention of cancer. We will determine the capabilities of these probes for activity detection by establishing lower limits of detection and dynamic ranges for in vitro assays. We will also demonstrate the use of probes for activity detection in cancer cell lysates.
Expected Student Contributions:
The intern will synthesize and purify various peptide oligonucleotide conjugates that will serve are protease probes. This will require training synthetic organic chemistry, specifically in the area of peptide synthesis on DNA scaffolds. Basic molecular biology techniques will be used to construct DNA-linked substrate probe libraries, including PCR. The intern will perform biochemical assays with simple protein mixtures and cell lysates and characterize results using quantitative DNA analysis, such as qPCR.
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
No specific training is required. Interns should have completed at least a semester of organic chemistry and should have a GPA >3.5
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?
Yes, 1 credit hours

Professor in Charge

Krusemark, Casey
medicinal chem/molecular pharmacology

Student Supervisor

Casey Krusemark
Assistant Professor

Cooperating Faculty

Weiguo Andy Tao