I have just completed my third year of a Natural Sciences degree at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. As a SRF Summer Scholar, I will be investigating a diverse array of data pertaining to previously conducted clinical trials in search of variables that frequently correlate with success.
My name is Julia McCreary, and I am a rising senior at University of California-Berkeley. I am a Molecular and Cell Biology major with an emphasis in biochemistry. This summer, I am working in Heinrich Jasper’s lab at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging under the mentorship of postdoctoral fellow Imilce Rodriguez-Fernandez. The goal of my project is (1) to screen for additional candidate genes involved in regulating a novel mechanism used by adult somatic stem cells to deal with protein aggregates termed as the ‘proteostasis checkpoint’ and (2) to generate genetic tools to further understand protein homeostasis in these stem cells.
My name is Isha Bagga, and I am a rising junior at University of California, Los Angeles studying physiological sciences.This summer, I am working in Dr. Brian Kennedy’s lab at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. Under the supervision of Dr. Chen-Yu Liao,I will be testing the ability of the natural polyamine spermidine to extend healthspan by examining its role in the induction of autophagy in an aging mouse model.
My name is Melissa, and I graduated this past spring from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s of Science in Neuroscience. This summer, I will be working on the SRF Oncology Team under the guidance of Dr. Haroldo Silva and David Halvorsen to validate existing Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) pathway assays and identify new cell lines that could be used for ALT study.
My name is GiHun Choi. I am a rising senior at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the department of Biological Engineering. My project will be conducted under the mentorship of Dr. Wanlu Du in the lab of Dr. Khalid Shah at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital. It focuses on exploring the possible application of therapeutic mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) loaded with oncolytic herpes simplex virus (oHSV) to treat advanced melanoma.
My name is Martin Rodriguez, and I am currently pursuing a BSc degree in Biomedical Engineering through the Marquette University & Medical College of Wisconsin joint BME program. Under the mentorship of Dr. John Jackson at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM), my project will entail recellularizing thymic scaffolds and developing hydrogels with enhanced murine TECs, TM, and primary HSPCs for significant T lymphopoiesis outputs. I look forward to contributing intellectually and experimentally to these studies as I see how a multitude of white blood cell disorder therapies could benefit in the future from this study’s promising design.
My name is Ryan Leung from New Bedford, MA. I am a recent graduate of Tufts University, where I received my BS in Biomedical Engineering. This summer, I am working at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine under the supervision of Dr. John Jackson and Dr. James Yoo. My project aims to develop a functional bioartificial ovary capable of serving as a cell-based therapy for women who suffer from compromised ovarian function and disease-induced infertility.
My name is Elizabeth Batiuk, and I am a rising senior studying bioengineering at Santa Clara University. This summer, I will be joining the Mitochondria Team, led by Dr. Matthew O’Connor at the SRF Research Center. My project will focus on rescuing the function of a protein in a mouse cell line with a mutation in the mitochondrial gene, ATP8, an important subunit of mitochondrial complex V, which is essential to producing the chemical energy for the body.
I recently graduated from Rutgers University, New Brunswick with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Tissue Engineering. This summer, I will be working with Dr. Anthony Atala, Dr. James Yoo, Dr. In Kap Ko, and Jennifer Huling at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine towards creating an implantable tissue construct that restores function to damaged or diseased kidney tissue.
My name is Dayne Martinez. I am a rising senior at Grand Valley State University where I am working to earn a degree in Biochemistry. This summer, I will be working in the lab of Dr. Jeanne Loring under the supervision of Dr. Andrés Bratt-Leal at The Scripps Research Institute. I will be generating dopamine neurons from patient-derived iPSC lines and analyzing them using several different methods in an effort to develop quality control assays that can be used to verify the purity of cells to be used for a cell replacement therapy graft.
My name is Wenyi Zhu, and I’m entering my 4th year at Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University. This summer, I will be working in Dr. Evan Snyder’s lab at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. Under the mentorship of Dr. Lina Mastrangelo, I will be investigating the effects of LRRK2 protein and PARK1 mutations on autophagy in the hopes of understanding more about the progression of Parkinson’s disease.
The 2016 SRF Summer Scholars Program has begun! Over the next few months, our Summer Scholars will tell you a little about themselves and their Summer Scholars project in their SRF Education Blog posts.