Wing Shing Yip

Exploring the Difference between Thermophilic and Mesophilic Proteins Using Protein Engineering

T. thermophilus RNase H (TthRNase H) is a protein that is stable at high temperatures. In my project, I will examine how the amino acid sequence of TthRNase H determines its folding properties that lead to its thermostability. To approach this question, I am going to construct two proteins, one containing the core of C. tepidum RNase H (a protein stable at moderate temperatures) and the periphery of TthRNase H and another containing the core of C. tepidum RNase H and the the periphery of E. coli RNase H (a protein stable only at low temperatures). Using CD spectroscopy to analyze these proteins, I hope I will be able to get more insights on folding mechanisms of proteins.

Message to Sponsor

I have been interested in biochemistry and molecular biology since my high school years. I have learned many theories and concepts but I havent had a chance to actually apply what I have learned. The SURF program provides me with a great opportunity to get hands-on experience of practical scientific research. With the grant provided in the SURF program, I do not need to worry about getting a job in the summer to cover my living expenses. Instead, I am able to focus on my full-time research project. Moreover, SURF program also gives me a taste of what the life of a graduate student looks like so that I can decide whether I am really interested in graduate school.
  • Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Mentor: Susan Marqusee, Molecular and Cell Biology