Headshot portrait of Amanda Urke - Bio-X Undergraduate Fellow
2018 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Bioengineering
Mentor: Lei Stanley Qi, Bioengineering and Chemical & Systems Biology

Photo of USRP student Amanda Urke in the laboratory, working in a fume hood.Genetic tools repurposed from the bacterial CRISPR-Cas system  have enabled targeted genome engineering. In particular, CRISPR activation (CRISPRa) shows promise in studying diverse diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), but is limited in its consistency and efficacy of activation. Amanda’s project seeks to enhance the CRISPRa system so that studies can be done on a mutated gene that is found in 10-15% of genetic ALS cases.