Research Story

Kristen McReynolds

Kristen McReynolds
Graduated May 2006 | Major: Chemistry and Biochemistry

"I am currently working on an extended DIS project in the Organic Chemistry laboratory of Dr. Sridhar Varadarajan. The overall focus of the lab is the creation of molecules that will target and bind to the DNA of specific cancer cells. It is believed that these molecules will form irreparable bonds with the cancer cell’s DNA. This will ultimately lead to the destruction of the cancer cells without having toxic effects on the healthy cells of the body. My research is focused on creating an inhibitory compound which may aid in the effectiveness of these cell-specific DNA-damaging agents. Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) inhibitors shift the mode by which the cell dies in order to prevent the release of toxic substances. PARP-1 inhibitors show a great deal of promise in a multitude of medicinal chemistry applications. During the course of my DIS I have synthesized various organic molecules which has helped me in mastering some of the techniques commonly used in organic synthesis. This project has proven to be an invaluable experience and I am grateful to Dr. Varadarajan, and to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, for the opportunity to conduct such exciting research as an undergraduate. I am also grateful to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry for selecting me for the GlaxoSmithKline Women in Science Mentoring Program, which has provided me with an outstanding opportunity to interact with scientists in industry, observe the work done in an industrial lab, and receive one-on-one advice and mentoring from someone working in a pharmaceutical company."


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