Establishment of a Kinetic Analysis Framework for the Activity of an RNase P Ribozyme

Kwa Yu Liou :

Mentor: Fenyong Liu, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health

Kwa's Senior Honors Thesis in Molecular and Cell Biology will investigate the RNase P ribozyme, which is one of many RNA enzymes being developed as promising gene-targeting reagents to cleave specific RNA sequences. Kwa's research will establish a kinetic framework to analyze the catalytic mechanism of RNase P ribozyme to cleave a viral mRNA. By determining the ribozyme's catalytic efficiency, he will provide insight into the engineering of RNase P for antiviral application, with potential therapeutic use in inactivating specific mRNA sequences of infectious viruses such as Herpes Simplex Virus and HIV. In addition to its implications for infectious disease control, Kwa's research this summer will help him develop necessary skills to pursue his career goal of becoming a molecular biologist.