Professor of Chemistry and Co-Director of CNAST
The Armitage laboratory synthesizes nucleic acids and their analogues for applications ranging from antisense/antigene inhibitors of gene expression to fluorescent biosensors and labels for imaging and detection. This research relies heavily on peptide nucleic acid (PNA), a chimeric molecule that combines attributes of proteins and nucleic acids. PNAs bind tightly to DNA or RNA targets having complementary and, in some cases, homologous sequences. Structural modifications are introduced into the PNA to improve affinity and selectivity. This project is done in collaboration with Danith Ly’s lab.
Our fluorescence imaging and sensing projects utilize nucleic acids as probes and labels that will ultimately be targeted to specific molecules inside of cells. The nucleic acid component can either be rationally designed or derived from a combinatorial library using in vitro selection methods. Our work in this area involves collaborations with the labs of Linda Peteanu and Javier Lopez as well as the Molecular Biosensor and Imaging Center and the NIH National Technology Center for Networks and Pathways.
Lab Webpage: http://www.chem.cmu.edu/groups/army/