Faculty Advisor

Prusty Rao, Reeta


Clozapine, a schizophrenic medication, can adversely affect a patient's immune system. In some patients, clozapine causes agranulocytosis by an unknown mechanism. Our working hypothesis is that clozapine reacts with H2O2 within granulocytes, generating a toxic product. We developed an assay in the model organism -- Saccharomyces cerevisiae. 11 reproducibly repeated trials resulted in a negative correlation between the concentration of clozapine and yeast cell density, and determination of the MIC50 of clozapine for yeast cells. The repeated dose dependent inhibition of yeast cell growth by clozapine, in the presence of H2O2, indicates that yeast cells can indeed serve as a model for understanding agranulocytosis in the population of patients treated with clozapine.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

October 2011


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology