Hi, I am Vinay Veluvolu a bioengineering and computer science major from the University of Maryland College Park. This summer I interned at the SENS Research Foundation as part of their education program. I worked on the senescence immunotherapy project under the mentorship of Dr. O’Connor and Dr. Sharma. My previous research experiences were focused on studying the effects of targeted micro/nano-particles on lysosomal content in the context of lysosomal storage disorders as well as some computational work studying the distribution of restriction-modification systems in bacteria and using codon usage bias as a way to estimate autoimmunity.
As the body ages, senescent cells accumulate in the body and release signals that will cause the surrounding cells to enter the senescent state. Senescent cells do not have the ability to replicate and have been implicated in a variety of age-related disorders. Senescent cells are able to persist in the body because they evade the immune system by eliminating the signals that are used for recognition. Thus, the goal of my project was to study the expression of these signals and how they were being eliminated. After understanding how the signals are being eliminated, we want to test various compounds that will hinder the process. By stopping the elimination of these signals, we hope to facilitate increased recognition by the immune system that will lead to senescent cell killing.