Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Nicole Balian Rose Hills

Tyrosinase-Mediated Oxidative Coupling

The purpose of this research is to identify tyrosinase enzymes that are able to carry out tyrosinase-mediated oxidative coupling. Tyrosinases have recently been identified as enzymes that are able to undergo oxidative coupling and are a much more efficient way to couple proteins, DNA, small molecule thiols, and difficult protein substrates. Previous methods produce unwanted by-products, are not site-specific in their targeting, and can result in unwanted protein degradation, which ruins the natural folding of the proteins. Tyrosinase-mediated coupling avoids such problems and allows the reaction to run in a short amount of time without complications. Specific tyrosinases are able to couple to different biomaterials and this diversity makes them integral in the development of drug therapeutics, especially antibody drug conjugates (ADCs). These can be used in cancer drug research and can allow patient-specific targeted therapeutics. The new tyrosinase species identified by this research can be used in the growing field of bioconjugate chemistry and developing antibody drug conjugates.

Message To Sponsor

Thank you so much for this opportunity to continue my research throughout the summer. I believe in the research that the Francis group is doing and it is because of your generosity that I can stay and continue researching. I am truly grateful for your generosity.
Major: Chemistry
Mentor: Wendy Cao
Sponsor: Rose Hills Foundation
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