Friday, April 22, 2016

URSP Student Brayan Pozo Determines the Physical Properties and Thermodynamic Data Analysis of Newly Synthesized Caspase 3 Inhibitors

I have encountered glimpses of several different fields of studies throughout the many courses I have taken throughout my years of college. Different subjects had their unique levels of personal interests of mine, but the one field of study that fascinated me tremendously was that of Organic Chemistry. To be able to tie in the interest I have in the subject of Organic Chemistry along with the passion I have for the field of medicine, I was interested in researching about newly synthesized peptides that may be used to inhibit Caspase 3 enzymes where the levels of cell apoptosis and diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease may both be reduced.

A goal I had set for myself is to be able to learn in greater detail about the field of medicine by attending medical school and completing my residency in order to become a future physician here in the United States. My research project is all but a small portion of how the processes of medicinal discoveries have been made throughout the years, but nonetheless, it has given me the perspective I very much appreciate on how certain body complications are addressed in ways most people may not have knowledge about.

Every week, I work in an Organic Chemistry Lab room and obtain the physical properties of newly synthesized Caspase 3 peptide inhibitors that have been prepared by my mentor. I take careful notations of the color, texture, and temperature at which each inhibitor melts, while also taking note of any changes in color and texture that may occur as the inhibitors are being heated. I also use the chemical structures of each synthesized inhibitor and determine the relationships of electron withdrawing and electron donating capability by developing Hammett Plots.

This week, I discovered that even though there were two synthesized inhibitors of the same class, their color and melting points were quite different. The differences in the physical properties had to do with the presence of ionic salt in one synthesized inhibitors and not the other.