Education & Certifications
Bachelor of Arts, Yale University, COGNITIVE SCIENCE (2010)
Jacqueline Tai-Edmonds, E4C Mentor
Bioremediation is an important approach to waste reduction that relies on biological processes to break down a variety of pollutants. This is made possible by the vast metabolic diversity of the microbial world. To explore this diversity for the breakdown of plastic, we screened several dozen endophytic fungi for their ability to degrade the synthetic polymer polyester polyurethane (PUR). Several organisms demonstrated the ability to efficiently degrade PUR in both solid and liquid suspensions. Particularly robust activity was observed among several isolates in the genus Pestalotiopsis, although it was not a universal feature of this genus. Two Pestalotiopsis microspora isolates were uniquely able to grow on PUR as the sole carbon source under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Molecular characterization of this activity suggests that a serine hydrolase is responsible for degradation of PUR. The broad distribution of activity observed and the unprecedented case of anaerobic growth using PUR as the sole carbon source suggest that endophytes are a promising source of biodiversity from which to screen for metabolic properties useful for bioremediation.
View details for DOI 10.1128/AEM.00521-11
View details for Web of Science ID 000294205700029
View details for PubMedID 21764951
Cognitive impairment among populations at risk for HIV poses a significant barrier to managing risk behaviors. The impact of HIV and several cofactors, including substance abuse and mental illness, on cognitive function is discussed in the context of HIV risk behaviors, medication adherence, and risk-reduction interventions. Literature suggests that cognitive impairment is intertwined in a close, reciprocal relationship with both risk behaviors and medication adherence. Not only do increased risk behaviors and suboptimal adherence exacerbate cognitive impairment, but cognitive impairment also reduces the effectiveness of interventions aimed at optimizing medication adherence and reducing risk. In order to be effective, risk-reduction interventions must therefore take into account the impact of cognitive impairment on learning and behavior.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s10461-010-9684-1
View details for Web of Science ID 000284138100001
View details for PubMedID 20232242
Peroxisomes contain oxidases that produce H(2)O(2), which can result in protein oxidation. To test the vulnerability of peroxisomal proteins to oxidation in vivo the organelles were isolated from castor bean endosperm incubated with H(2)O(2). When peroxisomes were exposed to H(2)O(2)in vivo, the peroxisomal proteins exhibited an increase in carbonylation as detected in avidin blots of biotin hydrazide derivatized samples. Biotin-tagged peptides from trypsin digests of the proteins were analyzed by mass spectroscopy and compared to the masses of peptides from the same protein that had not been biotin-tagged and from proteins not exposed to excess H(2)O(2). H(2)O(2) exposure was found to increase the activity of catalase (CAT), and to increase the number of oxidized peptides found in CAT and malate synthase (MS). CAT had 10 peptides that were affected by in vivo exposure to H(2)O(2) and MS had 8. These sites of oxidation have definable locations within the proteins' structures.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.abb.2009.09.019
View details for Web of Science ID 000271669500004
View details for PubMedID 19800310