Data collection for systems biology models requires generating quantitative information about cellular events within living cells. The development of molecular probes that are able to target or enter cells, interact with cellular components, and quantitatively report on the status of an intracellular event will be important tools for generating models for complex biological responses. These cellular probes are likely to be multifunctional hybrid structures of small molecules linked to peptides specifically designed to interact with intracellular molecules such as kinases, proteases, and other enzymatic or structural components. The probes may utilize fluorophores, other spectroscopic tags, or nanoparticles as the quantitative reporter. We are interested in maximizing the use of the optical spectrum and the measurement of multiple intracellular parameters simultaneously. This project would involve design and synthesis of probes utilizing modular chemistry concepts to build hybrid molecular structures that report cellular functions. Work will involve bioconjugate and organic chemistry, purification of probes, and performance testing of the probes. Additional project scopes could include cellular toxicity measurements, live cell measurements with automated fluorescence microscopy or flow cytometry, and quantitative model development.
Cell reporters; Fluorescence microscopy; Organic synthetic chemistry; Quantitative cell biology;