Biochemistry Professor Shahir Rizk has three students working with him on three separate projects. The first is Pierre-Emmanuel N'Guetta [left photo], an international student from Ivory Coast majoring in biology. He is continuing a research project that began in the Fall semester with the CHEM-C 486 (biochemistry laboratory) students designing a biosensor for glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp . Pierre plans to pursue a career in the medical field.
Next up are Michele Costantino (left) and Riley Bigelow (right) shown in the second photo. Both students are biochemistry majors funded by SMART grants (student-mentor academic research team). Michele is working on engineering reversible self-assembly of biological molecules with applications in the design of new nano materials and biosensors. She hopes to continue doing research at the graduate level.
Riley is working on engineering new proteins that can modulate the activity of enzymes with the hope of rescuing a dysfunctional enzyme that is caused by genetic mutations associated with inherited severe combined immune deficiency (SCID). This is a deadly disease with very few treatment options. She will also be investigating whether this technology can be applied to other genetic disorders.