Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

John Campo L&S Sciences

Structure determination of the DNA polymerase III subunit from Aquifex aeolicus by X-ray crystallography

The ultimate goal of my research is to identify the structure of the subunit of DNA polymerase III in Aquifex aeolicus (Aquifex) using X-ray crystallography. DNA pol III is the enzyme that is responsible for the majority of the DNA replication that occurs in this strain of bacteria. The the subunit of DNA pol III is responsible for the polymerase activity. To date, the structure of the replicative unit has only been determined in two gram-negative bacteria, Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Thermus aquaticus (Taq) (Lamers et al., 2006, and Bailey et al., 2006). While these structures have proved to be quite useful in furthering our understanding of DNA polymerases, much remains unclear. Solving the structure of the subunit in Aquifex will help to further our understanding by providing a third system to study.

Message To Sponsor

At the very least, this project allows me to pursue my interest in structural biology by giving me the chance to try and solve a structure which has yet to be determined. In doing so I can strengthen my laboratory skills while also getting a better feel for what graduate school is like. Lastly, this fellowship would provide me with the opportunity to make significant strides forward in my quest of developing an MCB honors thesis during my senior year.
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Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
Mentor: John Kuriyan, Molecular & Cell Biology
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