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SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program. Additional AOs for the Amgen Scholars program can be found here.

Specific GROWTH projects being offerred for summer 2019 can be found here.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be
U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

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Project:  Inhibition of a DNA repair enzyme to sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapy and radiation.
Disciplines:  Biology, Biochemistry
Mentor:  Judith Campbell, Professor, (BBE),, Phone: x6053
Background:  Dna2 helicase/nuclease is a key player in repair of double strand breaks in the cell. We have identified it as a target in sensitizing cancer cells to chemotherapy and radiation. These treatments kill cancer cells by inhibiting DNA replication and inhibiting DNA2 potentiates their effects. Their drawbacks are non-responding patieints, side effects in non-tumor cells, and emergence of resistance. We have identified and are optimizing small molecule DNA2 inhibitors to overcome these problems with current therapies. These inhibitors do not target normal cells because cancer cells are inherently proficient in DNA repair while cancer cells are inherently deficient.
Description:  Studies will involve development of and the use of
biochemical assays to determine the effectiveness of novel inhibitors of Dna2 nuclease activities and inhibition of cancer cells in cancer cell lines.
References:  Exploiting DNA repair defects for novel cancer therapies
Mol Biol Cell. 2016 Jul 15; 27(14): 2145–2148.

Wenpeng Liu…Campbell, Shen. (2016) A selective small molecule ofDNA2 inhibitor for sensitization of human cancer cells to chemotherapy. EbioMedicine….
Student Requirements:  General laboratory skills (pipetting, agarose and PAGE gels, buffer preparation required). Bi 10 level skills, molecular biology course a help (Bi8, Bi9), other freshman chemistry lab. Genetics also helpful. We can teach you the rest.
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       Amgen Scholars    Non-Caltech students only  
       SURF    Caltech students only 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.

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