John Chulick

Mentor: Dr. Bryan Kolaczkowski
Institute of Food and Agricultural Science
"I got involved in research because I wanted to broaden my knowledge of science and the scientific process. After taking one of Professor Kolaczkowski’s classes, I became fascinated with the field of bioinformatics and was able to get him as my mentor."


Microbiology and Cell Science



Research Interests

  • Bioinformatics
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

Academic Awards

  • SHARE scholarship 2015
  • Anderson Scholar 2015
  • Deans List 2015
  • University Scholars Program 2016


  • Alpha Zeta Honors Fraternity
  • AMSA
  • CALS Honors Program


  • Shands Hospital
  • Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital

Hobbies and Interests

  • Guitar
  • Wakeboarding
  • Intramural Basketball

Research Description

Effects of Mutations on RLR's Ability to Detect Viral RNA
I am currently working on my senior thesis. It involves comparing the natural human variants to known mutants of four genes, DDX58, DHX58, MAVS and IFIH. These genes code proteins which are involved in how the human body detects viral RNA and initiates a cellular immune response through the RIG-like receptors (RLR's). The goal of my project is to find what known mutations of those four genes will cause the protein to not be able to bind to viral RNA, and thus not trigger an immune response. With is information we can identify people who are more susceptible to RNA viruses and use gene therapy to correct the mutation.