Our group focuses on the development of nucleic acid aptamer-based imaging agents for small biological molecules such as steroids and coenzymes, which have been shown to play important roles including in cellular protective mechanisms and serving as disease markers. The ability to carry out selective imaging will provide useful insights into their involvement in various processes and in turn, the study of novel or more efficacious therapeutic strategies for diseases. Through an in vitro evolutionary process, we can obtain oligonucleotides with high binding affinity for the desired targets. The chemical versatility of these nucleic acid strands will allow for relatively simple conjugation to a fluorescence or magnetic resonance imaging fragment.
Not teaching this semester.