My name is Andrew Mitchell and I am a senior Biology/Mathematics major here at Roger Williams University. For the past year I have been conducting research under Dr.Espinosa working towards a senior thesis. My project is titled The Inhibition of Entamoeba histolytica dehydrongenase 2, EhADH2, by pyrazoline derivatives. The overall goal of this project is to characterize the Ki for the various inhibitors that were previously synthesized by Dr.Rossi’s laboratory. To accomplish this task I make use of several commonly practiced techniques in the biotech industry. Cultivation of Entamoeba histolytica is very time consuming and expensive. We are able to avoid these setbacks by using recombinant E. coli that express the target enzyme, EhADH2. E. coli cells are easily cultivated and can be easily modified to express specific enzymes. This is a common practice throughout the biotech industry and the field of biology in general. After growing these modified cells, we are able to isolate EhADH2 through lysis followed by FastProteinLiquidChromatography(FPLC). Cell lysis releases the contents of cells while the FPLC is able to fractionate the various proteins within the lysis solution. We confirm the presence of our target protein through western blot analysis using specific antibodies for EhADH2. Following FPLC, the Ki is determined by measuring the kinetic rate of the enzyme at various inhibitor concentrations using a spectrophotometer.
The certificate in Biology program here at Roger Williams University not only teaches you techniques that are commonly used throughout the biotech industry but also allows you to apply your knowledge outside of the field. Biotechnology is about manipulating what you have to accomplish the task in front of you. It requires you to think outside of the box and not in the direct paths typically seen in basic laboratory techniques. The certificate requires you to talk classes outside of biology that you may not take otherwise. This allows you to apply those fields to your major and creates a much better overall learning experience. The curriculum of the certificate in Biotechnology has given me a very positive experience here at RWU and has significantly helped me in numerous situations in a laboratory setting.