2012-2013 Pilot Project Recipients

Basic Science Applications

Methyl Binding Domain Engineering to Enable DNA Epigenotyping of Individual Cells

The aim of this project is to try this multimerization strategy with other MBD family members that have lower starting Kd values for the monomeric form to see whether multimerization further improves the binding affinity in these cases as has been observed.

  • Hadley Sikes
    Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering

Studying Helicobacter pylori Susceptibility in Mice Deficient for Base Excision Repair and Direct Repair Proteins

The aim of this project is to determine whether mice deficient in the DNA glycosylase, Aag, and the direct DNA repair proteins, Alkbh2 and Alkbh3 exhibit increased susceptibility to infection by the human pathogen Helicobacter pylori.

  • Jennifer Calvo
    Research Scientist, Center for Environmental Health Sciences

Interactions between products of Inflammatory Cells and AFB1 in Mutagenesis of Hepatocytes and Kupffer Cells in gpt delta F344 Rats

The goal of this proposed work is to assess the role of activated immune cells and aflatoxin in the appearance of mutations in different liver cell types.

  • Gerald Wogan
    Emeritus, Biological Engineering
  • James Fox
    Professor and Director, Division of Comparative Medicine
  • Robert Croy
    Research Scientist, Biological Engineering

Mutations and Tautomerism: Using Two-Dimensional Infrared Spectroscopy to Study DNA Lesions Generated from Endogenous Oxidative Damages

The goal of this project is to use two-dimensional infrared (2D IR) spectroscopy to characterize tautomers of various DNA adducts.

  • Andrei Tokmakoff
    Professor, Chemistry

Impact of the Microbiome on Influenza Pathogenesis and Immune Response: A New, Global Approach to Mitigating Viral Pathogenesis

This pilot project explores the impact of distinct, but otherwise healthy, host-associated microbial communities on immune response to influenza infection.

  • Jonathan Runstadler
    Assistant Professor, Biological Engineering

Translational Applications

RNA Modification Systems as Environmental Sensors and Regulators in Cancer Growth

The goal of the proposed studies is to explore the role of RNA modifications in the response of tumor cells to their local environment and in tumorigenesis. More specifically, we will identify the RNA modifications synthesized by the human homolog of the yeast Trm9 methyl transferase (hTRM9) and assess the effect of epigenetic silencing of hTRM9 in the hypoxic response in tumor cells.

  • Peter Dedon
    Professor, Biological Engineering

High-Throughput Approach for Measuring DNA Damage and Repair Kinetics in Glial Cells and Gliomas

The ultimate goal of this project is to study DNA damage and repair in normal neuronal tissue and in gliomas from human subjects.

  • Bevin Engelward
    Associate Professor, Biological Engineering
  • Scott Floyd
    Clinical Investigator, HMS and Koch Institute