Welcome to the Yatsunyk Lab!


Our laboratory investigates how water-soluble porphyrins and other small molecule ligands interact with non-canonical tetrastranded DNA structures, quadruplexes, from telomeres and oncogenes promoters in a specific manner, leading to cancer inhibition. We want to understand the mechanism of these interactions as well as the structural details of quadruplexes alone and in complex with porphyrins. This knowledge will pave a way for new and selective anticancer treatments. Our favorite techniques include X-ray crystallography, UV-vis, circular dichroism (CD), fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), NMR, gel electrophoresis, and synthetic work. Most of the research is done by Swarthmore undergraduate students. We have strong collaborations with researchers from UPenn, NIST, University of Louisville and from the European Institute of Chemistry and Biology in France.

Lab News 2018

Congratulations to Barrett Powell for receiving the 2018 Philadelphia Local Section - American Chemical Society Undergraduate Scholastic Achievement Award, which recognizes top-achieving chemistry or chemical engineering majors in each of the colleges or universities that are part of the Section. 

Ariana, Barrett, Liliya, Linda and Samantha attended the 11th Frontiers in Chemistry & Biology Interface Symposium hosted by University of Pennsylvania. Liliya presented a talk entitled "Structural studies of CAGAGG repeats from difficult-to-replicate regions of the mammalian genome", while the others presented posters. Linda received the 3rd Best Poster award.  

Congratulations to Liliya and Linda for publication of their article: "Quadruplexes in ‘Dicty’: crystal structure of a four-quartet G-quadruplex formed by G-rich motif found in the Dictyostelium discoideum genome" in Nucleic Acids Research.

Ariana, Linda and Liliya attended the 2018 American Chemical Society - Philadelphia Local Section, Younger Chemist Committee 13th Annual poster session hosted by Temple University, PA. Ariana and Linda presented posters, and Linda's poster entitled "Biophysical and structural studies of telomeric G-quadruplex DNA with a small molecule ligand as an anticancer strategy" received the 2nd Best Undergraduate Poster award. 

Deondre and Linda presented their research at the 2018 Intercollegiate Student Chemists Convention at Elizabethtown College, PA. Linda's talk entitled "Interaction of G-quadruplex DNA with NMM as an anticancer strategy" received the 2nd Best Biochemistry talk award.

Congratulations to Deondre Jordan for receiving the 2018 Goldwater Honorable Mentions. The Goldwater Scholarship is a highly prestigious, merit-based award offered to undergraduates who are pursuing a career in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering. 

The lab held joint meetings with Dr. Dawn Carone and her lab from the Biology Department to discuss our research and biophysical characterization techniques, and how they can be applied to her research on satellite DNA misregulation. 

Our lab welcomes new members, Ariana Yett and Yanti Manurung 

Lab News 2017

Linda received a travel award to attend the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Phoenix, Arizona from November 1st to 4th. She presented a poster entitled "Biophysical and structural studies of telomeric DNA with a small molecule ligand as an anticancer strategy" and received the Biochemistry Presentation Award.

In October, the lab attended the 2017 Philadelphia Inorganic Colloquium hosted by Swarthmore College. Liliya was part of the organizing and coordinating team; Allan, Barrett, Deondre, Irene, Linda and Samantha presented posters.

Samantha represented the lab at the “Cracking the Repetitive DNA Code” Genetics Society of America Early Career Scientist Symposium at New York University, and presented a poster.

During Fall break, Linda and Samantha attended the Minisymposium on Analytical Ultracentrifugation at University of Pennsylvania on October 17. Barrett and Deondre visited our collaborator Brad Chaires and his lab at University of Louisville in Kentucky on October 16 - 19, read more about their trip on this BLOG

In September, the lab attended the 2017 Swarthmore  College Sigma Xi Student Research Poster Session and the 2017 Haverford Undergraduate Research Symposium. Allan, Barrett, Deondre, Linda and Samantha presented posters, while Linda gave a talk at the symposium, titled "Interaction of telomeric DNA with N-methyl mesoporphyrin IX as an anticancer strategy".

"Summer has flown by, but there is much to celebrate and look forward to!", Liliya reflects on the end of our summer research on this BLOG

In August Allan, Barrett, Deondre and Linda went to the 254th ACS National Meeting & Exposition in Washington, DC. Barrett and Deondre gave oral presentations and presented posters, while Allan and Linda presented posters. Read more about their experiences on this BLOG

Read about our summer 2017 research and fun on this BLOG

Our lab's research was highlighted in the recent article titled How Undergraduate Research Drives Science Forward by Davide Rovnyak and George Shields

Our lab hired Samantha Nyovanie, recent Amherst graduate, as Research Assistant. Samantha is coming on July 17 and we are very excited to welcome her to our lab

Barrett Powell and Deondre Jordan represented the lab at G4thering: 6th International Meeting on Quadruplex Nucleic Acids, Prague, Czech Republic on May 31 - June 3. Both presented posters. To read more about their adventures, go here.

Linda Lin and Allan Gao attended 45th Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting of the ACS in Hershey PA, June 4-6 2017 and presented posters

Congratulation to Liliya on her recent NIH R15 grant which started on June 1st, 2017

Barrett and Liliya attended March for Science in Washington DC on April 22. It was rainy and cold, but the gathering was very inspiring! Go Science!

Deondre and Barrett are on their way to The 6th International Meeting on Quadruplex Nucleic Acids which will take place on May 31st-June 3rd in Prague, Czech republic.

The lab welcomes new member, Linda Lin


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