Projects

The following are projects which I completed during my time at MIT. They are listed in reverse chronological order.

C3: Cleanse, Control: A three-pronged Therapy for Type II Diabetes
lSpring 2010

This project was done in 20.380, Biological Engineering Capstone Design. The semester was spent researching and designing a novel therapy to Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, or Cancer via the inflammation pathway.

Our group designed a therapy for Type II Diabetes based on Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte (CTL) infiltration in adipose tissue as a precursor to the inflammatory cascade implicated in insulin resistance. We researched the possiblity of a peptide vaccine that would suprress these CTLs via a method of oral tolerance.

This is my group's final paper for this project.

 

Speckle Imaging to Find Relative Blood Flow in Danio rerio
Fall 2009

This project was done in 20.309, Advanced Bioinstrumentation and Experimentation. In this module of the class, we were supposed to extend the technology of one of the previous modules to develop something new..

The goal of this module was to design a fluroescent microscope capable of taking speckle images. We then used this technology to image the blood flow of a six day old zebrafish. By determining the speckle constrast and the autocorrelation function, we determined the relative velocity of blood flow within the fish. This was the first time this module had been performed by students or the professors, so a great deal of optimization was necessary.

This is my group's poster for this project.

 

 

Designing a DNA Melting Apparatus to Find Melting Curves
Fall 2009

This project was done in 20.309, Advanced Bioinstrumentation and Experimentation. In this module of the class, we were taught basic techniques in circuits and signals and systems.

The goal of this module was to design a DNA Melting apparatus, optimize the signal, and take melting data from hybridized DNA of various complementarity, lengths, and solt molarity. Unmelted DNA was hybridized with a fluorescent tag whose signal was detected by a photodiode. Signal was recorded over changing temperatures.

This is my group's lab report for this project.

 

Designing a Bright Field and Fluroescence Microscope for Vesicle Tracking in an Onion Cell
Fall 2009

This project was done in 20.309, Advanced Bioinstrumentation and Experimentation. In this module of the class, we were taught basic techniques in optics and were encouraged to optimize the system laid out for us to reduce abberation.

The goal of this module was to design a bright field and fluorescence microscope, optimize it using various reference images, and use particle tracking software to track vesicles moving down myosin filaments in an onion cell. We had to set the parameters to best visualize soley the vesicles, then determine various values such as the viscosity of the cytosol and actin used per myosin motor be minute from our vesicle tracking data.

This is my lab report for this project.

 

Engineering DNA Polymerases
Spring 2008

This project was done in 7.02, Introduction to Experimental Biology and Communication. In this class, we were taught the basic techniques for experimentation in genetics, biochemistry, and molecular biology.

The major module for this class was a biochemical study of DNA polymerase in which Histidine 147 of Pfu polymerase was mutated. The processivity and fidelity of fourteen different mutant polymerases were measured and then compared. This process required mutagenesis techniques to engineer the proteins, then a colorimetric assay to access the fidelity of each mutants and PCR with varying DNA sizes to determine the processivity of each mutant.

This is my lab report for the PCR polymerase study.

 

 


 
 

 

 

The Pathway of Oral Tolerance from the GUT to the adipose tissue.

 

 

Speckle contrast of blood flow in Danio rerio. A large speckle contrast (and bright pixel) correlates with a large amount of motion within that area. Thus, the main artery and vein can be clearly seen here, as they are brighter than the rest of the fish.

 

 


DNA Melting Curves obtained from photodiode signal from our Melting Apparatus


 

Onion

A bright field image of an onion cell taken with the 40x objective of our microscope.

 

 


A PCR was run to test the processivity of each mutant. The lanes are labelled such that wild type polymerase were labelled 'wt' and mutant polymerase 'm'. The number following is how many kilobases the sample DNA in the mix was. This particular gel used a mutant with a Phenylalanine missense mutation (H147F).