Project Overview

Novel Unnatural Amino Acids to Study the Role of Hydrogen Bonding in Proteins

Faculty Sponsor

Jacob Goldberg (




Proteins play enormously important roles in all aspects of human health and physiology. Although most proteins consist of long chains of amino acids, they adopt complex three-dimensional structures that are determined by dynamic networks of relatively weak non-covalent interactions. We will develop new tools to probe these interactions and interrogate the biological consequences of small perturbations introduced by unnatural amino acids. This project will entail the preparation and purification of short peptides (3 to 30 amino acids) and full-length proteins containing unnatural amino acids by both chemical and biological methods, as well as detailed studies of the stability, structure, and, when possible, function of these synthetic constructs. No prior experience in chemical synthesis or biochemistry is expected.

Student Qualifications

Successful completion of Chemistry 102.

Number of Student Researchers

2 students

Project Length

10 weeks

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (