Sonnet Davis, Ph.D.


Chemistry 2011

Area of Doctoral Study: Chemistry

Undergraduate Institute: Oakwood College

Research Advisor: Daniele Fabris, Ph.D

Current Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Buck Institute

Description of Research

The HIV-1 packaging signal (Y -RNA) is a highly conserved region of retro viral genomic RNA located near the 5’-long terminal repeat. Approximately 120nc, Y- RNA actively participates in dimerization, genomic recognition, and packaging via non-covalent interactions with nucleocapsid protein p7 (NC). My research seeks to identify function and structure relationships of nucleic-nucleic acids complexes as well as protein-nucleic acid complexes present in Y- RNA. Due to the flexibility and size, the detection of nucleic-protein complexes and nucleic-nucleic acids complex via conventional techniques (Crystallography & NMR) are limited. For these reasons, we have developed an alternative method utilizing Electrospray ionization- Fourier transform mass spectrometry in conjunction various probing, foot printing, and crosslinking methods.