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Functional Proteomics Undergraduate Research Initiative

Functional Proteomics Undergraduate Laboratory

This laboratory was created to expand the undergraduate independent research opportunities available. This undergraduate research laboratory was developed in an effort to expand on the work of the Protein Structure Initiative (PSI) Centers. The PSI centers have determined over 3,500 protein structures, yet greater than 1,400 of these proteins have unknown functions and many more, although functionally annotated by bioinformatics approaches, have not been functionally characterized. Research in the laboratory will focus on approaches to characterize the function of these proteins and will complement the curriculum of the Biological Chemistry Laboratory II (CHEM4421) course, which is designed around the functional characterization of proteins. In both the Functional Proteomics Undergraduate Laboratory and CHEM4421, students are responsible for a bioinformatics investigation of the putative function of the protein of interest (e.g., operon structure and protein structure comparison), designing appropriate spectroscopic assays to assess for the putative function, and a systematic perturbation of the assay (e.g., temperature dependence, pH dependence, and/or cofactor requirements).