Project Overview

Synthesis of Metabolically Stable Tn Antigen Mimics with Conformational Integrity

Faculty Sponsor

Ernie Nolen (




Tn antigen is a carbohydrate bound to serine or threonine of a membrane protein, and is found displayed exclusively on the surface of tumor cells. While the immune system recognizes this feature as unique, it generally does not mount a significant defensive attack with respect to Tn antigen.  To aid in the development of cancer vaccines, we have designed and are attempting to construct a conformational mimic of Tn antigen that has an extended half-life, and therefore expected to produce a more robust immune response.  The actual lab work involves organic molecule synthesis and purification of these new materials, as well as characterization of these structures by NMR and mass spectrometry.

Student Qualifications

Completion of CHEM 263 and 264 is strongly preferred.

Number of Student Researchers

2 students

Project Length

8 weeks

Applications open on 10/03/2023 and close on 02/28/2024

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (