Mentor: Anita Vrcic
The Chemical Biology platform creates collections of chemical compounds that can be screened for biological activities. Tara worked within the Cleavage & Formatting group, which processes all of these compounds from synthesis to analysis.
Tara began by processing the pilot library for the nucleophilic aromatic substitution (SNAR) collection. Each compound was synthesized on a small solid support, or lantern, and then assayed for its purity. Tara found that 854 compounds had an acceptable purity, and 401 needed to be purified further due to the solvent THF. Therefore, Tara tested other solvents for suspending the compounds for analysis. She found that THF containing an inhibitor of oxidation (BHT) was most effective for suspending the compounds, as it neither significantly affected their purity nor caused build up of levels of BHT. Her tests of these solvents improved the overall method of processing chemical compounds for screening.
Tara, a Lynnfield High School senior, processed and analyzed chemical compounds in preparation for testing of their biological activities in cells.