Even More Research Opportunities

Rueben Gonzales' lab is looking to recruit an undergraduate student
assistant to start this summer. Our lab is associated with the
Division of Pharmacology/Toxicology, Department of Psychology and
Institute for Neuroscience. The student needs to commit to at least a
full year of training with us and may take a research course for
credit. After a year, a paid position may be offered to continue work.
This particular project is investigating the neurochemical mechanisms
which underlie the rewarding effects of ethanol, specifically the
involvement of the mu opioid receptor. The student will learn skills
in animal care, drug administration, surgical technique, microdialysis
and biochemical assays. Formal lab experience not required but science
background a must.
Any interested student should send CV and short paragraph on why they
are interested in the position to Shannon Zandy at szandy@utexas.edu.


shambhavi said...


I am graduate student and I am working on selecting an aptamer against Ebola glycoprotein. After 8 rounds of positive selections I performed a filter binding assay and got a Kd of 500nM. We further went and did a cell assay in which we incubated the nucleic acid pool and virus to see if it inhibits viral entry. Unfortunately it didn't inhibit entry and also at 500nM concentration the pool became cytotoxic to cells. I am wondering what could be the reason for cytotoxicity. I would really appreciate if you could give some directions as to what might be the possible reason.


Gwen Stovall said...

Hi Shambhavi,
Did you see the same cytotoxic effects with unselected pool or a scrambled aptamer (mixed-up aptamer sequence)? I wonder if the cytotoxic effect is sequence dependent or the result of assay conditions used.

My first thought is that the 500 nM aptamer concentration doesn't sound too high. I have a paper in front of me that didn't observe cytotoxicity at 5 uM aptamer concentrations (de Campos et al. 2009). Have you titered in different concentrations of aptamer to see if the cytotoxicity is aptamer concentration dependent?

Do you have any other thoughts on what could be causing this? I'll be happy to help you brain storm.