Dean's Undergraduate Research Awards
Johns Hopkins University
336 Garland Hall
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
Misfolded proteins have a tendency to aggregate, which can lead to prion diseases (Mad Cow disease) and Alzheimer’s disease. I am investigating the role of evolution in solubilizing proteins, or how proteins developed from unfolded polypeptides into stable, folded proteins. By engineering unfolded variants with external, internal, and interfacial mutations, I will measure the degrees of structure and interactions that remain in the unfolded state, and gauge just how unfolded a protein can be before it can no longer be artificially refolded.