Ami Patel

Mentor: Dr. Mavis Agbandje-Mckenna
College of Medicine
 
"The summer before my sophomore year at UF, I participated in a research internship in Akron, Ohio. At first I wasn’t sure how I would feel about learning in this setting, but I immediately fell in love with the creative process of conducting research. I’ve been lucky enough to have strong female role models throughout my journey and I look forward to following in their footsteps."

Major

Microbiology

Minor

Health Disparities

Research Interests

  • Gene Therapy
  • Structural and Molecular Biology
  • Global Health

Academic Awards

  • University Scholars Program
  • President's Honor Roll
  • CLAS Dean's List
  • Florida Academic Scholar

Organizations

  • Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Honor Society
  • No One Dies Alone (NODA)
  • CLAS Student Council

Volunteer

  • Balance180
  • Habitat For Humanity
  • ESOL Achievers

Hobbies and Interests

  • Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Netflix
  • NPR

Research Description

Receptor and Epitope Determinants of AAV6
Adeno Associated Virus (AAV) contains single-stranded DNA with a 4.7 kb genome. Currently, 13 serotypes have been identified. Each of them has different tissue tropisms, which dictates virus and host cell receptor interaction during the first step of infection. AAV is increasingly being developed as a vector for gene delivery because of its nonpathogenicity, ability to mediate long-term transgene expression; transduce dividing and non-dividing cells, and package foreign DNA. Two key factors in the initial stages of viral infection are receptor binding and antibody recognition. For gene delivery to be applicable and improved, it is important to better understand these two mechanisms. The focus of this project is on AAV6, a vector being developed for liver targeted applications. The first aim of this study is to confirm the sialic acid (SIA) binding sites by generating AAV6 mutants using structure predicting information. The second aim of this study is focused on the interactions between AAV6 and antibody. SIA binding mutants will be tested by native dot blots, an immunological technique, to determine if any of the mutants can escape from ADK6 recognition.