Undergraduate Research in Nucleic Acid Chemistry

Faculty Name:
Cynthia Burrows


Faculty College:


Project Description:

The nucleobase guanine in DNA and RNA is susceptible to oxidation via free radical mechanisms related to oxidative stress, ageing, metabolism and inflammation. We study the chemistry of how guanine reacts with reactive oxygen species to generate new structure that perturb the biological function of nucleic acids including mutations leading to disease. A particular focus is on G-quadruplex structures involved in telomeres and promoter regions of DNA.

Opportunity Type:

Volunteer; Earn independent study credit; Prepare a UROP proposal; Write an Honors Thesis

Student Role:

Students would be supervised by an advanced graduate student or postdoc in the lab to study samples of DNA and their structure and reactions pertinent to oxidative stress.

Student Benefits:

Laboratory skills in organic and biological chemistry including HPLC, CD, UV, NMR, gel electrophoresis, DNA synthesis, purification, and analysis.

Project Duration:

Typically 10 hours per week during the academic year and 20 hours per week in the summer.

Minimum Requirements:

Students should have completed general chemistry and ideally some organic chemistry. Chem. majors interested in graduate studies are particularly welcome to apply.