Leo Romanetz is a chemistry major from the class of '21. He is particularly interested in the field of physical chemistry where he plans to use his research experience at SLU as a starting point for future graduate study in the field. He plans to continue his project of the physical chemistry of intercalating chemotherapy drugs while at SLU during his senior year experience. Ultimately, he hopes that by the end of the project he may acquire the kinetic characteristics of the drug proflavin, in particular.
The properties of the binding pathways of intercalating chemotherapy drugs to DNA were studied through literature search and data analysis. The transcription and replication of DNA are key steps to the deadliness of uncontrolled cellular division, or cancer. Characterization of the kinetic properties of the “intercalation” mechanism, the mysterious pathway by which some chemotherapy drugs are capable of halting DNA’s transcription and replication, is where I conducted extensive reading and data analysis this summer. Working with professors to analyze previous years' temperature-jump data and dissect involved scientific journals, a greater understanding of the intercalating mechanism was acquired. This research provided a strong background and preparation for research to be conducted in a SYE which hopefully will contribute to the ultimate goal of a greater understanding of chemotherapy drugs in general and how to improve them for practical use in preventing the spread of cancer.