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Moravian College

Nelson Knudsen '12

2011 Soar Student

Nelson Knudsen '12

Major/minor: Biochemistry

Hometown: Charlestown, RI

Project: Preferences of DNA-binding by a potential anti-tumor active rhodium compound

Project advisors: Shari and Stephen Dunham

Project details: The goal of my project was to characterize adducts formed by genomic DNA and a novel rhodium compound. I hoped to gain more understanding of the binding characteristics of this compound in order to improve design of future compounds. I used high performance liquid chromatography and atomic absorption spectrometry and a specialized form of mass spectrometry to separate and identify adducts formed.

Why I wanted to participate in SOAR: I had previously had a taste of undergraduate research in the summer of 2010 working in a lab at the University of Rhode Island. I was very intrigued by the Dunhams’ research on these novel compounds and my SOAR work led into my honors project this year.

Results: I have isolated several adducts formed by a specific compound in double stranded DNA and I am currently trying to accurately identify their structure.

Future plans: I am currently working on this project for my honors thesis. I am applying to graduate school for a PhD in nutritional biochemistry.