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: Synthesis of Unnatural Amino Acids for in Cell Bioorthogonal Ligations  


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 to allow chemists the ability to incorporate any chemical functionality of choice. One pair of functional ability that is desperately needed is organic groups that can facilitate a bioorthogonal ligation in side living cells. This project will work on second generation amino acids with improved stability and reactivity for satisfy this need.


What skills will students obtain in this project? 

Organic synthesis.  Purification of organic molecules and characterization.

Quantification of reactivity of new amino acids.  


Student research tasks: 

Synthesize organic molecules (amino acids), assess their reactivity and test their incorporation into proteins.


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

q Yes    x  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



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.