URSA Engage Program 2013
Position Descriptions for Students to Apply For


Faculty Name & Department/School: Dr. Ryan A. Mehl, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. College of Science.


Research Project Title: Engineering permissive translational machinery


Project Overview: 

All living organisms on the planet use the same 20 amino acids and the same basic 20 sets of translational components to incorporate those amino acids via the ribosome. Our lab has added additional sets of translational machinery to living organism expanding them past 20 amino acids. This project will work with the current expanded organism to characterize the breath of this expanded ability (what new amino acids can we build into life) and use protein engineering methods to expand the permissivity of the machinery (make a single set use many new amino acids).


What skills will students obtain in this project? 

Protein expression and protein purification

Site-directed mutagenesis (PCR, DNA purification, DNA sequencing)

Protein structural visualization and protein structural characterization


Student research tasks: 

Characterize the ability for new translational machinery to make protein in living organism with unnatural amino acids and modify that ability


Period of work - Spring and Fall


Number of hours per week expected of student:    10 


Preferred Faculty Contact Information: Ryan.mehl@oregonstate.edu

(note - applications are NOT sent to mentors - see instructions)

q Yes    x  No:   Human Subjects 

q Yes    x  No:   Live Vertebrate Animals

x Yes    q  No:   Recombinant DNA Molecules Transgenic Plants or Animal, and/or Infectious Agents of Plants, Animals, or Humans

q Yes    x  No:   Ionizing Radiation

q Yes    x  No:   Chemical Carcinogens

q Yes    x  No:   Scuba Diving, Free Diving

q Yes    x  No:   Small Boating Operations


Approval Number(s) from above, if relevant _________________________________


If you are interested in applying for this position, you MUST complete the student application HERE and email it to Dr. Kevin Ahern at ahernk@onid.orst.edu

Do NOT email your application to the faculty mentor.