Bria Storr

MIT Department: Materials Science and Engineering

Undergraduate Institution: Fisk University

Faculty Mentor: Angela Belcher

Research Supervisor: Neelkanth Bardhan, Hiroshi Atsumi

Website: LinkedIn



I am from the small island of New Providence, in The Bahamas. At Fisk University, I am a physics major and computer science minor. My research interests are astrophysics and nanomaterial sensors but I have always been curious about aircraft design and I plan to earn a PhD in either astrophysics or aeronautics. I enjoy Netflixing, baking and finding cool thrift stores.


2017 Research Abstract

Photothermal Therapy for the treatment of Amoebiasis

Bria C. Storr, Department of Life and Physical Sciences, Fisk University, Nashville TN,
Hiroshi Atsumi, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Neelkanth Bardhan, Department of Material Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Angela Belcher, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Biology Engineering Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Amoebas are single celled organisms and is a part of the eukaryotic group, they are
commonly found in fresh water and soil during the summer time or in places where the weather is warm. The amoeba infection is harmful to humans and animal and causes a wide range of illnesses, some species are known as brain eaters attack the central nervous system and others, intestinal parasites. Patients who suffer from the amoebiasis have a low survival rate with present treatments. Here we seek to develop an approach to treat amoebiasis with photothermal therapy (PTT). The experiments follow the methods commonly used to treat cancer cells, where, myosin VI antibody was conjugated to IRDye or gold nanorods (AuNR), and then the conjugates attached to the
cells in vitro. Subsequently a near- infrared (NIR) light was applied to the solution for a period. The concentration of amoeba and time of shining NIR light were varied to observe the lowest concentration at the lowest time frame, to observe the threshold that will kill the amoebas in vitro. In addition to the pervious PPT-NIR with IRDye method the plan is to test gold nanorods to replace IRDye, AuNRs have some unique optical
properties, which absorbs more heat than IRDye. The result shows that in the free-flowing form, not conjugated with antibody, AuNRs with the application of light does not affect amoebas. Whereas IRDye under a certain condition has the ability to cause the death of the amoeba cells. The optimized conditions to effective kills amoebas in vitro is a final concentration of .0027mM and an incubation time of 1 hour with shining light for 1 hour. In addition to photothermal therapy, other methods to kill amoebas were explored such as testing the amoebas in a high salt environment.