Aaron M. Fluitt

Graduate Student

Education

  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2010

Research Interests

Several neurodegenerative diseases, notably Huntington's disease, are associated with certain proteins containing an expanded polyglutamine ("polyQ") tract. The misfolding and aggregation of these proteins is believed to play a central role in the disease pathogenesis, but a comprehensive, molecular-scale understanding of these phenomena has not been achieved. In my research, I use molecular simulations to study the properties of polyQ peptides and of the early aggregation pathway. The goals of the work are:
1) to identify the stable and metastable conformations of polyQ, both in solution and in the presence of the lipid bilayer;
2) to discover the mechanism by which polyQ peptides misfold and aggregate;
3) to study the impact of primary sequence context on polyQ aggregation; and
4) to use these findings to propose strategies for inhibiting polyQ aggregation.

Contact

Mr. Aaron M. Fluitt
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison
3111 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1691
U.S.A.
tel: +1 608 265-4926
fax: +1 608 262-5434
email: Aaron M. Fluitt