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Raquel Shortt

Pharmaceutical Science

Area of Doctoral Study: Pharmaceutical Science
Undergraduate Institute: Morgan State University

Research Advisors: Dr. Lisa Jones

Description of Research

When conducting studies to determine drug penetration and efficacy of cancer therapies three-dimensional cell culture systems are often used. 3D cell culture is important because it closely resembles tumors observed in biological systems. FOr example, they develop an extracellular matrix, oxygen tension, and have nutrients and thus proliferation gradients. Additionally, these phenotypic characteristics present themselves through the “layers” of the cell which can be separated and further investigated for biologically relevant information. In my research, I utilize the irreversible oxidative labeling technique titled Fast Photochemical Oxidation of Proteins (FPOP) to probe the solvent accessibility of proteins in 3D colorectal cancer spheroids. Interrogating spheroids using FPOP provide me a means to determine the effect of various conditions like hypoxia and drug treatments on protein structure throughout each layer of the spheroid. Changes in protein structure throughout the spheroid are critical in identifying new protein targets and novel cancer therapies.