About Student Research
Wendy Olivas (1992–1996)
Tools for application of oligonucleotide-directed DNA triple helix formation in molecular biology
A graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University, Wendy Olivas did her Ph.D. work in the Maher lab (then at the University of Nebraska Medical Center). Wendy's thesis project involved application of oligonucleotide-directed DNA triple helix formation to practical problems in genetic assays and artificial gene regulation. Wendy's contributions included mutation detection in native DNA samples, and studies of triple-helix formation by guanine-rich oligonucleotides in the purine triple helix motif. This work established potassium ion-dependent self-equilibria as daunting challenges for such oligonucleotides under in vivo conditions, and introduced chemical modifications that ameliorated these problems.