OhioMod is a group of undergraduate students participating in BioMod, an international design competition at Harvard University. The intent of the competition is to provide students with an opportunity to engineer nanoscale biomolecular objects for therapeutic or scientific endeavors. This year, twenty-nine students from ten different countries convene in Harvard on November 1st for their third annual jamboree. Each undergraduate team is expected to produce both a video and website highlighting their research over the summer. As the team representing The Ohio State University we are searching for sponsors to help fund our trip to Harvard this autumn. Our goal for the competition is to use self-assembed DNA nanostructures to target chronic lymphocytic leukemia with intercalating drugs.
The backbone of our project is based on using the novel technique of DNA origami in which we use computer-aided software to design DNA that will fold itself into a desired shape. Dr. Carlos Castro has greatly developed this protocol and will be guiding us for this portion of the project. The folded DNA structure can then be loaded with intercalating drugs such as Daunorubicin or Doxorubicin and then be delivered to the target cell group. This drug delivery is inspired from Qiao Jiang’s paper DNA Origami as a Carrier for Circumvention of Drug Resistance in which Doxorubicin attached to DNA origami presented remarkable cell-killing activity to Doxorubicin-resistant cancer cells. We will be focusing our drug delivery on CLL cells due to the already existing collaboration existing between Dr. Chris Lucas of our lab and Dr. John Byrd of the CLL experimental therapeutics group at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.