Daniel Kool

Graduate Assistant, Jernigan Lab
Dan Kool

Research Interest:

To study how protein structure and conformational changes correlate to their interactions with and recognition of other molecules, whether in academia or industry. Modulation of the functions and activities of proteins by drugs, small molecules, or other biomolecules is also of interest.

Past Research Experiences:

As an undergraduate I studied under the guidance of Dr. Bingbing Li at Central Michigan University in the area of materials science. Physical properties of polymer scaffolds and nanofibers were the focus of this research. Technical skills used included operation of a differential scanning calorimeter, confocal laser scanning microscope, scanning electron microscope, and electrospinning apparatus. He gained a general understanding of the research process and of advanced physical analysis of materials. Is co-author on one published paper from this research, cited below, and will be co-author on a second paper which is in preparation.

Worked under Dr. Linlin Zhao at Central Michigan University while pursuing my Master of Science degree in the area of biochemistry. Expressed and purified DNA polymerases, particularly Dpo4 from archaea and human Pol ν. Used these purified proteins, along with others such as human Pol η and Pol κ, to run base addition, extension, and kinetic assays on DNA duplex substrates with partially processed interstrand cross-link adducts. The goal of these studies and of his thesis project is to elucidate the mutagenic potential of this particular type of DNA damage with various DNA polymerases that are known to be capable of translesion synthesis. Knowledge of these mutagenic mechanisms in the cell may help us better understand and combat diseases such as cancer.

2011-2013 Undergraduate Researcher, Department of Chemistry

  • Set up electrospinning apparatus
  • Fabricate electrospun nanofibers/nanostructures from DFDA-approved biocompatible polymers such as poly (e-caprolactone) PCL) and polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS)
  • Observe and characterize the morphological features of electrospun nanofibers and the effect of annealing on the morphology using a laser scanning confocal microscope

November 2012 to June 2013

  • Produce polymer composite thin films
  • Run thin films in differential scanning calorimeter, observe/analyze thermal properties

2013-Present -- Graduate Research, Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry

  • Express and purify Sulfolobus solfataricus Dpo4 and human Pol nu
  • Perform base addition, primer extension, and kinetics assays on damaged DNA duplex substrates with partially processed inter-strand crosslink adducts.
  • Fabricate and run polyacrylamide electrophoresis gels
  • Analyze kinetic results in order to compare translesion synthesis efficiency by various DNA polymerases


Greenman K, Bauer A, Kool D, Liu J, and Li B*, “Morphological regimes of poly (E-caprolactone)/octaisobutyl polyhedral oligosilsesquioxane composite films in relation to film composition and thickness”, Colloid Polym Sci, 292:2227-2240, 2014 May.

Greenman K, Kool D, and Li B*, “Morphological Evolution of poly(E-caprolactone)/methacrylisobutyl polyhedral oligosilsesquioxane composite films”, Journal of Chemical Physics, manuscript in preparation.

Area of Expertise: 
Computational Biology