Barrett Eichler, Ph.D.

 (605) 274-4814

 beichler@augie.edu

Website

Education:

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Davis
  • Ph.D., Inorganic Chemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • B.A., Chemistry, University of Minnesota-Morris

Position:

  • Professor, Inorganic Chemistry
  • Augustana University

Current Research:

One of the best ways to prevent mortality from cancer is early detection.  Prostate cancer is a very common cancer in men, but current methods involve a pathologist observing cells and giving the cell morphology a score, called a Gleason sum.  In order to remove human error from detection, we seek to use fluorescence spectroscopy to detect the presence of a particular protein (PSMA) found only on the surface of malignant prostate cancer cells.  We have developed a method to combine an RNA sequence (aptamer) that binds strongly and selectively to PSMA.  We intend to introduce these RNA-coated QDs to samples of prostate cancer, and quantify the amount of fluorescence observed using confocal microscopy.  This should provide a more quantifiable and reliable detection method for prostate cancer than is currently used and can extend to other forms of cancer, such as pancreatic cancer.  Along with Dr. Aaron Mohs of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, we will develop a similar RNA-QD probe for extracellular proteins on the surface of pancreatic cancer cells.