2008-2009 Pilot Project Recipients


Changes in the Spectrum of tRNA Secondary Modifications as Biomarkers of Exposure

This project will explore the utility of RNA secondary modifications as biomarkers of exposure. The development of bioanalytical methods for characterizing the spectrum of RNA 2˚ modifications will be useful for many studies beyond those emphasizing biomarker development, such as defining the poorly characterized spectrum and function of secondary modifications of nucleobases in rRNA, miRNA, and other RNA species.

  • Peter Dedon
    Professor, Biological Engineering

Structural Studies of DNA Repair Protein Human Alkyladenine Glycosylase

This project is to understand how the cell protects against DNA alkylation by environmental carcinogens.

  • Catherine Drennan
    Associate Professor, Chemistry

Inflammation-associated Prostate Cancer: Development of Mouse Models for Assay of Environmental Contaminants

This project is to develop novel mouse models of prostate cancer for study of environmental contaminant exposures in humans. This project will utilize these mice to test whether inflammation and environmental contaminants may act as co-factors that promote prostate cancer development. The goal is to provide murine models to study prostate cancer in humans.

  • Susan Erdman
    Principle Research Scientist, Division of Comparative Medicine

Direct Coupling of Nanofluidic Preconcentration System and Conventional Mass Spectrometry

This project will couple a nanofluidic peptide/protein preconcentrator chip to mass spectrometry (MS) via various dispensing methods and to qualify it as efficient front-end signal enhancement tool for MS. Using the proposed solution, the concentration of low-abundance peptides and proteins can be increased by several orders of magnitudes on chip and sent to mass spectrometer directly without any manual transfer. This way, biologically significant, but highly diluted biomolecules can be detected at unprecedented high sensitivity with minimal sample loss.

  • Jongyoon Han
    Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and Biological Engineering

Detection of Toxic Events in the Liver in vivo using Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes

This project is to develop the DNA-SWNTs sensors for in vivo detection of toxic events associated with DNA damage. The objective is to further validate the identification method in vitro and in vivo using the mouse liver as a model and to demonstrate the detection of chlorambucil as a model DNA damaging agent.

  • Michael Strano
    Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering
  • Steven Tannenbaum
    Professor, Biological Engineering
  • Gerald Wogan
    Professor, Biological Engineering

Exploring DNA Damage Response Networks with High-Dimensional Information Theoretic Statistics

This project is to refine, adapt, and apply the methods for use of datasets relevant to environmental-health interactions.

  • Bruce Tidor
    Professor, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and Biological Engineering