|Class of 2001
Graduated in 2007
|Undergraduate Institution: Cornell University
Major: Applied and Engineering Physics
Origin: Arlington, MA and Germantown, TN
|Lab: Jan Liphardt
Location: Stanley 456
RNA Structure Characterization Using Mechanical Nanopores
I am interested in combining current laser tweezers technology with small nanofabricated pores to study RNA structure and unfolding forces. The pores are circular apertures in Silicon Nitride wafers which allow passage of single-stranded RNA only, blocking structured regions of the molecule. By pulling a structured molecule through the pore using force-measuring optical tweezers I hope to investigate the kinds of unfolding forces which molecular machines, such as helicases and the ribosome, exert on RNA. I am also interested in the optical tweezers-nanopore setup as a way to determine the structure of RNA molecules from the forces necessary to denature them mechanically as they are pulled through the pore.
This apparatus would provide a new way to determine the structure of RNA molecules. Also, it represents a more physiologically relevant method of studying RNA unfolding forces, and has several advantages over the currently used method.
- Experimental Test of Hatano and Sasa's Nonequilibrium Steady-state Equality. E. H. Trepagnier, C. Jarzynski, F. Ritort, G. E. Crooks, C. J. Bustamante, and J. Liphardt. PNAS 101, 15038-15041 (2004)