research project involves understanding the Saccharomyces
cerevisiae transcriptional response to DNA damage
to gain insight into how cells sense and repair different
types and doses of DNA damage. I will use genomic experiments
and develop novel models to relate changes in gene expression
to molecular pathways regulating the DNA damage responses.
In addition, I will construct yeast-based biosensors
for quantitative detection of DNA damaging agents. This
project combines skills and approaches in biology, chemical
engineering, and bioinformatics. Many carcinogenic compounds
can be found in water and soil supplies, and many assays
exist too test for these chemicals. Most of these tests
are time-consuming and expensive, and they are often
ineffective against unknown toxins. Harmful chemicals
can cause DNA mutations such as single strand lesions,
double strand breaks, covalent crosslinks, and base
pair mismatches. While some DNA mutations are beneficial
in allowing cells to adapt to changes in the environment,
most mutations are detrimental. For this reason, one
of the most crucial tasks a cell performs is detecting
and repairing DNA damage. To prevent damage from permanently
altering the genome, cells must recognize it has occurred
and shut down the cell cycle until the damage can be
repaired. My hypothesis is that a yeast-based cellular
biosensor can be developed which will be sensitive to
both identified and currently unknown DNA-damaging agents.
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S. Maddox, M. F. Grarcia, L. M. Savoy, M. G.
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C. S., M. P. Scott, M. G. Benton and
M. Rahman (2002). Plasticizing Effects of Imidazolium
Salts in PMMA: High Temperature Stable Flexible Engineering
Materials. Ionic Liquids as Green Solvents: Progress
and Prospects . R. E. Rogers. Washington, D. C.,
American Chemical Society Symposium Series.
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