Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biological Science

First Advisor

Andrew Mescar

Committee Member 1

Humaira Gowher

Committee Member 2

Jeffrey Bolin

Committee Member 3

Timothy Ratliff


Ubiquitination is an important post-translational modification involved in maintaining cellular homeostasis by regulating many delicate cellular processes, including the cell-cycle, membrane protein trafficking, endocytosis and apoptosis. Ubiquitin Specific Proteases (USPs) remove ubiquitin modifications from protein substrates to reverse the signal imposed by the ubiquitination. Perturbations in the expression levels of USPs has been implicated in many types of cancers where patients show significant elevation in cellular levels of specific USPs. This suggests that targeting specific upregulated members of the USP family in specific disease states would be ideal for the development of personalized anti-cancer therapeutics.