Nicole Clarke '09 places second at AIChE national student poster competition
Nicole Clarke ’09 is the second place winner at the AIChE national student poster competition. The title of the project was "Drug metabolism: Isolation, Expression, and Purification or Cytochrome P450". This research project was targeted at the drug sirolimus which is an immunosuppressant given to kidney transplant patients so reduce the chances that they will reject the organ. Right now there is consideration of using this drug for applications beyond the operating room, including coating heart stints and potentially treating skin cancer.
The project Nicole worked on was designed to isolate the protein sequences of cytochrome P450 from the bacteria Actinoplanes sp. 53771 because these enzymes metabolize the drug the same way that the P450s in the human liver do. This way instead of doing expensive clinical and/or animal trials, ultimately the primary, secondary and tertiary metabolites produced from the metabolism of sirolimus can be studied to define a new toxicity profile of the drug given the new dosage and patient exposure conditions that would be implemented if the drug were in fact approved for these new uses.