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Congratulations to Professors Zhen Gu and Frances Ligler for their recent award by NCSU’s Research and Innovation Seed Funding (RISF) Program. The NC State program was established to fund interdisciplinary research that has strong potential to later receive either industry or governmental assistance for research. In collaboration with Dr. Gufeng Wang of the Chemistry Department, Dr. Ligler and Gu hope to develop powerful tools to monitor sub-cellular structures in a spatiotemporally controlled way. The project, titled “Spatiotemporal Visualization of DNA Damage Response using Stimulated Emission Depletion Microscopy,” will implement a live-cell tagging system by developing degradable protein nanocapsules to tag adenosine 5′-diphosphate-ribose (PAR) assemblies in live human cells. Using super-resolution microscopy, the project will also monitor the generation and distribution of PAR in the presence of controlled DNA damages. As aging, on the cellular level, is associated with an increase in DNA lesions and a degradation of DNA repair mechanisms, the project has exciting implications for BME’s newest focus area—regenerative medicine. Congratulations again to Drs. Gu, Ligler, and Wang!

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