I am interested in studying diatom cell
wall synthesis. In order to accomplish this, I will
make extensive use of a number of high throughput technologies
to overcome current limits in the field. In the process,
I hope to advance the state of genomic science in general
by using tools such as gene chip microarrays and mass
spectrometry. The genomic science training grant program
will provide me with the support of a multidisciplinary
community capable of assisting me as I inventively encounter
research set backs.
Simultaneously, I am interested in tackling
cell wall synthesis from a protein side. The silaffins
are highly post-translationally modified peptides believed
to be responsible for silica deposition. Different diatom
species have a unique post-translational modification
profile. Silaffin modifications are necessary for silica
precipitation in vitro. Clearly, an inclusive understanding
of diatom cell wall synthesis would not be complete
without considering proteins as well as gene expression
The microarray analysis screen is likely to identify
many genes as potentially important to cell wall synthesis.
The high throughput technique, mass spectrometry will
be used to rapidly analyze the components of fractions
or extracts to identify what is or is not present. This
ability to examine in detail the composition of an experimental
organism or solution using mass spectrometry will provide
data far exceeding that available using acrylamide gel
electrophoresis. The Biotechnology Center mass Spectrometry
Facility is closely with and adjacent to the Sussman
lab. This will allow the high level of equipment access
necessary to fully utilize this technique.
Effectively tackling diatom cell wall
syntheses will demand the use of a diverse range of
approaches including the powerful but highly complex
techniques, gene chip microarrays and mass spectrometry.
I will benefit from a diverse range of skills, backgrounds
and specialties present in the genomic science community
in order to effectively advance my research interests.
As my training progresses, I will be able to add my
own unique perspective, skill and ideas to the community.
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