Brian Cannon receives CAREER award from NSF for research on DNA biophysics.
Brian Cannon received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. The duration of the grant is five years and will support research in the biophysics lab and new educational programming in the Department. Dr. Cannon's research uses experimental approaches to understand how the three-dimensional organization of our genome is altered by genetic disorders arising from repetitive sequences, such as spinocerebellar ataxias. The work outlined in the grant will use state-of-the-art, single-molecule techniques to image the shape and motion of individual DNA molecules in real-time to examine how disease-relevant sequences influence DNA folding and, as a consequence, result in deleterious protein expression patterns associated with some genetic disorders. The education component will expand research-style learning experiences as a pedagogical tool for undergraduate education. The project will develop a research-oriented curriculum for the introductory physics lab sequence at Loyola University Chicago, initiate research workshops as outreach to Chicago-area community colleges and support a post-baccalaureate training program for promising researchers. The project seeks to provide substantive learning experiences that emphasize interdisciplinary learning, expand opportunities for underrepresented groups in STEM research, and improve the career readiness of promising students for STEM careers.