I work mostly with modified nucleosides and DNA strands but I have been getting into small molecules. I love the potential application and hope future work will open doors to new fields not yet accessible.
I came from a small liberal arts school with few research opportunities, but with motivation to learn. My work deals mostly with DNA-based probes and their interactions with transcription factors. My career objectives are still unknown, but I do know I want to continue exploring chemical biology and all it has to offer.
Deregulated androgen receptor (AR) signaling plays a major role in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer (PCa). Castration resistant PCa (CRPC) is an advanced form of PCa that is resistant to standard AR-targeting steroid hormone therapies. Resistance can occur through various mechanisms, including mutation of the AR ligand binding domain and synthesis of constitutively active AR variants (AR-Vs). AR-Vs function in the absence of ligand hormones and promote tumor progression, thus making AR-Vs attractive therapeutic targets in drug-resistant disease. The AR DNA binding domain (DBD) has been previously targeted using a DNA decoy based on the androgen response element (ARE) in the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) promoter, which inhibited AR transcriptional activity. In this study, we aim to use DNA decoys to probe AR sequence specificity versus the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), with which AR shares 90%+ sequence homology in its DBD. Moreover we examine AR-V binding patterns relative to wild type AR. The development of AR- and GR-specific chemical probes that target individual DBDs is a long-term goal of our project.