Nuclear hormone receptors control the expression of genes in response to small molecule hormones. In performing this activity, the receptors must specifically recognize small molecules, DNA, and other proteins. The amino acids that recognize each of these substrates are varied using genetic engineering techniques until a receptor with novel recognition is created. The original and new receptors are studied using a variety of biophysical techniques to elucidate the principles behind the new activity. This exercise provides both new knowledge for future protein engineering and real materials for research and medical applications.
Lauren replica plating a structure-based codon randomized library of ~450,000 colonies.
Kenyetta and Bahareh (at computer) working on the plasmid logbook.
Bahareh demonstrates the use of X-Gal on yeast plates (X-Gal is present in the blue portions of the plate).
Center for Fundamental and Applied Molecular Evolution (FAME)
Our lab participates in FAME, a jointly sponsored initiative between Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology. Established in November 2002, FAME's goals are the study of evolutionary principles and application to the synthesis of novel molecules and materials in the laboratory. The center is highly interdisciplinary, with research groups composed of chemists, biologists, biochemists, and chemical engineers. FAME members meet monthly to present research and discuss new scientific ideas and endeavors.
FAME was recently awarded an NSF grant for a Center for High-Throughput Screening and Sequencing. The colony picker alone should save Lauren from begging everyone to help her pick hundreds of colonies (and that was a small library). We also make use of the new sequencing equipment.
Center for Drug Design, Development, and Delivery (CD4)
The CD4 was recently launched as an interdisciplinary center at Georgia Tech. The center focuses on all aspects of drug design, including considerations of delivery much earlier than typical in the development process. The goals of the center are to improve industrial collaborations and train students in the necessary skills for the pharmaceutical industry. Our lab is developing new therapies for gene therapy, diabetes, and cancer using novel techniques to control gene expression by manipulating nuclear hormone receptors.