Print

Print


Thesis Defense Announcement
To: the George Mason Community

*Amanda C. Zirzow
Master of Science in Biology
Molecular Biology concentration
*
Date: Thursday December 2, 2010
Time: 1:00 - 2:30 P.M.
Place: Research I Bldg., Room 162
Fairfax campus <http://www.gmu.edu/resources/visitors/findex.html>
<http://www.gmu.edu/resources/visitors/findex.html>
Thesis Chair: Dr. Ancha Baranova, MMB Dept. 
 
*Title : "Post-transcriptional Gene Silencing and the Bioengineering of 
a Novel Non-Viral Nanoscale Vector for the Delivery of Small Interfering 
RNA Molecules"*
 
Silencing of gene expression by small interfering RNA (siRNA) is 
promising for drug target discovery and as a therapy. However, a major 
impediment to the use and development of this technology is the inherent 
instability of siRNA in the bloodstream. To address this restriction, 
this research evaluates a novel, DNA and albumin based delivery vehicle 
for siRNA.  To study the kinetics of siRNA degradation, a custom 21nt 
double stranded RNA includes a fluorophore on one strand and a quencher 
on the other strand. Degradation dependent separation of quencher and 
fluorophore results in increased fluorescence intensity allowing siRNA 
degradation to be measured via fluorescence spectroscopy. The mean size 
distribution of DNA baskets was measured by dynamic light scattering. 
This investigation finds that the degradation of siRNA is delayed when 
siRNA is prepared with DNA/albumin and the size of the delivery 
particles optimal for cellular uptake, implying that DNA baskets are a 
promising technology for further development as the delivery vehicle for 
therapeutic siRNAs.
 
###