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Full Stream Name: Aptamer  

Research Educator: Gwendolyn (Gwen) Stovall

Principal Investigator: Andy Ellington

Credit Options: Spring & Fall

How can we use biochemistry and nucleic acids for drug development and sensor applications?

The Aptamer Stream uses oligonucleotide chemistry, in vitro selection methodology, and biochemistry to develop novel therapeutics, diagnostics, and molecular sensors.  The tool of choice for the development of these applications is an "aptamer," an oligonucleotide binding species (sometimes referred to as a "molecular sticker"). In the stream, students use the methods of in vitro selection methodology to identify aptamers against a variety of targets and develop their downstream application. For example, aptamers targeting the precursors of disease states could offer inhibitory functions, thus serving as therapeutics to alleviate disease. Still other aptamers against disease biomarkers could be used in the development of disease diagnostics.  Additionally, some aptamers may serve as gene regulators (such as synthetic riboswitches) or for targeted drug delivery (such as nanoparticle adjuncts).

For more information, see the Aptamer Stream Website.


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Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Medical Laboratory Science, Pre-Med, Public Health