2016-2017 URF Recipents

Alder Crammond

  • Class: Senior
  • Major: Chemistry
  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michael Pluth, Assistant Professor
  • Research question: Can thiocarbamate compounds be used as H2S donors?

H2S is an enogenously-produced gaseous signaling molecule (gasotransmitter) with wide-reaching function in animals. Misregulation in H2S pathways is correlated with disease and as a result, H2S has potential therapeutic application. The toxicity and extreme reactivity of H2S make it difficult to administer in a safe controlled manner and so H2S prodrugs are of particular interest. Self-immolating aryl thiocarbamates have proven to be a triggerable source of carbonyl sulfide (COS). Carbonic anhydrase (an ubiquitous enzyme) converts COS to H2S. I am investigating this class of compounds for their feasibility as H2S prodrugs, beginning with cytotoxicity and carbonic anhydrase inhibition.

Thomas Forman

  • Class: Senior
  • Major: Biology
  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kryn Stankunas, Assistant Professor
  • Research question: What role does Lrig1 play in heart valve development in mice?

Congenital valve disease affects at least two percent of the world’s population, a remarkable frequency that underlines the urgent need to understand the etiology of these common birth defects. These underlying abnormalities may originate from disruption of embryonic valve development, which undergoes a complex, multistep process. Coinciding with this process, we found that Lrig1 is dynamically expressed in the valves throughout development. Using a transgenic mouse line to knock out Lrig1 function, we demonstrated that homozygous Lrig1 embryos have hypertrophic mitral valves. My project involves further investigating the developmental processes from which these valvular defects arise in the hopes of better understanding the causes of congenital valve disease.