Biotech Center, Cook College, Rutgers University
18474 CPO Way
New Brunswick, NJ, 08901
Leustek Laboratory at Rutgers University.
- Graduation Expected January 2007 with a BS in Biotechnology
More Synthetic Biology
For the past three years, I have been working in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Leustek, at Rutgers University. The Focus of the Leustek Group is on amino acid biosynthesis in Arabidopsis thaliana. Projects that I have worked on include functional genomics of histidine biosynthesis, functional genomics of proline biosynthesis, and characterization of microbial diaminopimelate aminotransferases (enzymology of lysine biosynthesis).
Several publications pending
I am currently the president of the Rutgers Biotechnology Club, Designer Genes. We can be found on the web at http://aesop.rutgers.edu/~dgenes. We try to cultivate interest in biotechnology, and I am begining efforts to bring a greater awareness of synthetic biology to the Rutgers community as well.
This information is a temporary place holder, until I find the time to exercise my knowledge of HTML and create the most awesome page on the web.
I found one of my experiences working on the lysine biosynthesis project to be particularly interesting; The graduate student I was working with had cloned one of the orthologs we were studying out of frame. Without realising this, he induced expression and was able to see activity. Presumably this is due to a low rate (10^-5 if I am not mistaken) of translational frameshift error. However, after recreating the construct so that the gene was in-frame, no activity was dectectable and all of the protein appeared to end up in an inclusion body. In my search of the literature, I have not found any other examples of constructing a gene for heterologous expression out of frame as a technique to get soluble protein. I wonder how useful it might be.