Xinyu Xu is a Chemistry M.S. Candidate in the School of Chemistry and Materials Science. Her thesis advisor is Dr. Hans Schmitthenner.
Targeted molecular imaging agents (TMIA) are emerging as useful tools for early diagnosis of cancer and other diseases. These agents couple various imaging agents such as near infrared fluorescence (NIRF) dyes or metallic contrast agents used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with targeting agents that bind to biomarker receptors in cancer cells. Our group has developed a modular synthesis of peptide based TMIAs starting from “puzzle pieces”. Puzzle pieces are amino acids with imaging groups bonded to their side chains. These are assembled together to form imaging peptides which are then conjugated to targeting groups. So far these have synthesized by solution phase peptide synthesis which are low yielding and require many steps including purification of each intermediate. The goal of my research is to assemble the puzzle pieces using solid phase peptide synthesis (SPPS). SPPS is widely used and has many advantages. Our first goal is to learn how to synthesize simple peptides from common amino acids. The next goal is to then apply the optimized methods to synthesize the peptide-based imaging agents previously made by solution phase methods, such as dual-dye or dual-modal (dye-metal) molecular imaging agents.
Xinyu Xu is originally from Wuhan, China, and completed her BS in chemistry at the University of Arizona Tucson campus.
When and Where
12:30 PM-1:45 PM
Thomas Gosnell Hall
Open to the Public