This project will work to understand the structure and function of enzymes that are used by bacteria to make novel antibiotics and other bioactive molecules.
The project mentor is no longer accepting student inquires, because this project is currently at full capacity.
Many microorganisms produce natural products, small molecules that are sent into the environment that allow the cell to adapt to diverse environments. Because these natural products are biologically active, they have been exploited as pharmaceuticals, serving as the source or inspiration for over half of the drugs approved by the FDA. Understanding how these molecules are produced may enable the discovery of new enzymes and new natural products. We study the structure and function of the enzymes that produce many natural products, with a special emphasis on a family of proteins that produce peptides with antibiotic activity. Students will perform mutagenesis and biochemical assays, in functional studies, as well as crystallization experiments to enable the understanding of the structure of these important enzymes.
The specific outcomes of this project will be identified by the faculty mentor at the beginning of your collaboration.
|Length of commitment||Longer than a semester (6-9 months)|
|Level of collaboration||Individual student project|
|Who is eligible||Students studying biochemistry, chemistry, or biology who have taken a Biochemistry or Organic Chemistry class. GPA of 3.2 or higher. Students should have familiarity with basic lab skills and the ability to work independently.|
Students participating in this project might be interested in and eligible for the Goldwater Scholarship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Connect with the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships to learn more.
Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase.