Area of Doctoral Study: Biochemistry
Undergraduate Institute: Johns Hopkins University, B.S Biomedical Engineering, Concentration Chemical Engineering,
Graduate Institute: M.S Mechanical Engineering, UMBC
Research Advisor: Michael F. Summers, Ph.D.,
Current Position: Primary Patent Examiner, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
Description of Research
The 5’ untranslated region (5’-UTR) is the most conserved region of the HIV-1 RNA genome. It contains secondary and tertiary structures that may play roles in genome packaging and are important for efficient encapsidation. Chemical and enzymatic in vitro studies as well as phylogenetic analyses have shown that structural changes and long distance RNA-RNA interactions within the RNA occur which may regulate packaging of the virus. Using multidimensional NMR methods, we are interested in the region containing the AUG Gag initiation codon, known as Stem Loop 4 (SL4) and an upstream region within the 5’-UTR.