Nelson Knudsen '12
2011 Soar Student
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.