First Advisor

Robert Strongin

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Science and University Honors




Molecular probes -- Diagnostic use, Pancreas -- Cancer -- Diagnosis, Fluorescent probes




Hypoxia is a condition where oxygen is unable to reach tissues and cells. When these areas become oxygen deprived, they are unable to synthesize reactive oxygen species (ROS), in whose absence, specific enzymes become overexpressed. Nitroreductase is a protein commonly found in areas where hypoxic tumors are located and also where many cancer forms occur. Nitroreductase is a good indicator of hypoxic tumors and can be detected by molecular probes. One of the few synthesized probes termed compound 12 is highly tumor specific and enable visualization of pancreatic cancer at four different levels of structure. Compound 12 works by fluorescing in pancreatic cancer cell, indicating regions where metastasis and abnormal development is occurring. We are also synthesizing a derivative of compound 12 by adding a nitro(-NO2) group. Derivative compound 12 has a strong potential to enhance the visualization of not only pancreatic cancer, but also cancer throughout the body and provide, therapeutic monitoring, and aid to surgeons in margin assessment.


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