Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2022
Home Department: Bioengineering
Faculty Advisors: Michael Lin (Neurobiology and Bioengineering), Nathanael Gray (Chemical & Systems Biology), and Michelle Monje (Neurology & Neurological Sciences)

Research Title: Non-invasive Bioluminescent Imaging For In Vivo Visualization of the Efficacy of Kinase-Targeting Drugs

Research Description: Aberrant kinase enzyme activity drives tumorigenesis however evaluating the efficacy of kinase-targeting drugs in vivo (within the patient) remains a severe bottleneck. Therefore, Yan proposes to develop a non-invasive method based on bioluminescent imaging to visualize the efficacy of kinase-targeting drugs. Specifically, she plans to engineer a Kinase-Modulated Bioluminescent Indicator (KiMBI) for extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs) and compare the efficacy of PROTAC degraders, an innovative kinase-targeting method, and inhibitors in vivo. The design will also be generalized to other kinases including AKT, that play key roles in multiple cellular processes. This project will establish a revolutionary approach to in vivo visualization of the efficacy of kinase-targeting drugs and greatly aid cancer therapy.