Mayar Allam

MIT Department: Biological Engineering

Undergraduate Institution: Arizona State University, Tempe Campus

Faculty Mentor: Bevin Engelward

Research Supervisor: Noreen Lyell

Website: LinkedIn

2018 Research Poster


I am a rising senior from Cairo, Egypt and I major in Biomedical Engineering at Arizona State University. My main future goal is to work toward earning my doctoral degree in biomedical engineering, with a focus on tissue engineering in cancer research. Afterward, I would like to work as a research scientist or as a professor in my field of study. Outside of school, I enjoy traveling and learning about other cultures, and other languages. My hobbies include listening to music, reading, and drawing.

2018 Research Abstract

Applying CometChip technology to reveal the impact of PARPi on glioblastoma cells exposed to H2O2.

Mayar Allam1, Noreen Lyell2, Bevin Engelward2

1Department of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, Arizona State University

2Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common malignant brain tumor with low survival rates ranging from 12 to 18 months. The reason behind these poor rates is the cells’ resistance to conventional chemotherapies. Most of the treatments used today work by damaging the DNA of the rapidly dividing cancer cells causing cell cycle arrest, and ultimately cell death. However, all cells have very intricate DNA repair pathways that are usually malfunctional in mutant cancer cells, resulting in the formation of the most cytotoxic DNA lesions: DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). One way, therefore, to kill mutant cancer cells is by inhibiting its DNA repair process. PARP is a well-known family of proteins involved in multiple cellular processes including DNA repair. Here, we are studying the impact of PARP inhibition by Olaparib along with oxidative stress caused by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) treatment on two different glioblastoma cells lines: M059K (DNA-PKs, wild- type), and M059J (DNA-PKs deficient, mutant type). We utilized the CometChip technology to assess DNA damage in cells. Namely, we used the comet assay with alkaline conditions along with Gamma-H2AX to assess DNA single-strand breaks (SSBs), and double-strand breaks (DSBs) respectively between the two cell lines. In this study, we found no significant differences in DNA damage between the two cell lines in response to Olaparib. Future research can be towards assessing the cellular changes in response to PARP inhibition. For example, change in cellular proliferation, migration and invasion can be studied to closely evaluate the efficacy of PARP inhibition as an anti-cancer drug.