Jennifer Rowe, '14, has been collaborating with Chemistry professor Dr. James Wollack since February 2012 and specifically in the AMP program during Fall 2013. The main focus of their project was the synthesis of a fluorescent protein tag for the eventual attachment onto a protein of interest, Ras. When mutated, Ras can cause disastrous effects. For example, mutated Ras is found in 95% of all Pancreatic Cancers. Pancreatic Cancer is arguably the most tragic of all cancers—typically, one is only diagnosed after the cancer is very progressed. Therefore, a fluorescent protein tag can allow researchers to more fully understand the nature of Ras, mutated and nonmutated. Such knowledge could potentially help to produce an effective treatment for Pancreatic Cancer.
“AMP has been an amazing experience, which has allowed me grow in my skills as a research scientist”, says Rowe. Next year, Rowe will be attending graduate school working towards her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry. Post graduation, she hopes to one day design pharmaceuticals for a biotechnical company.