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Undergraduate Research Center

Janna Abou-Rahma

  • SOAR Position: Member; Alumni
  • Major: Biochemistry
  • Faculty Mentor(s): Dr. Kevin L. Bicker

Current Focus: Mechanism of Action of Antifungal Peptoids

Additional Interests: Traveling, Reading, Spending Time w/ Friends and Family

Project Description

Due to the rise of drug resistant strains of fungal pathogens such as Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida albicans, there has been a need to identify new antifungal agents. In comparison to naturally produced antifungal peptides, antifungal peptoids mainly differ in structure, which prevents protease recognition giving higher bioavailability. Previous studies have shown that peptoids are effective fungicides. RMG8-8 and RMG9-11, two peptoids recently discovered in the Bicker Lab, have proven to be effective antifungal agents against C. neoformans and C. albicans, respectively. This research project provides studies to determine the mechanism of action and other vital therapeutic properties of RMG8-8 and RMG9-11 using various biochemical and microbiological assays.

Why does this topic interest you?

Being interested in medicine, I like the aspect of learning the “behind the scenes” of how physicians are able to treat patients with various infections. Gaining this perspective has allowed me great insight into the field of medicine and grow an appreciation for each step that allows physicians to properly treat and diagnose patients.

What are your professional aspirations?

I hope to pursue medicine and become a cardiologist.

Do you have any advice for future researchers?

Don’t get too bogged down in the mistakes as you proceed in research but focus on what you can learn and take away from each mishap to move forward!

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Thursday, September 5th, 4:30pm

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Contact us

Jamie Burriss, Ph.D., Director
(615) 494-7669

Casey Penston, Coordinator
(615) 809-4588

Learn more about the URC