Tina Esfandiary

Mentor: Dr. Cuong Nguyen
College of Veterinary Sciences
 
"My experience as a tutor for children with mental disabilities sparked my interest in the human brain when I was in high school. Hence, upon my arrival at UF, I decided to join a neuroscience lab to unravel the mysteries of the brain. Three years later, I continue to enjoy research, as it is thought-provoking, exciting and most importantly, pivotal to human health."

Major

Economics

Minor

N/A

Research Interests

  • Drug Delivery
  • Neuroscience

Academic Awards

  • UF Dean's List
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Award
  • MIT Summer Research Program
  • University Scholars Program 2016

Organizations

  • Alpha Epsilon Delta

Volunteer

  • Streetlight
  • UF Shands Volunteer

Hobbies and Interests

  • Reading
  • Tennis
  • Traveling

Research Description

Detecting the Serological Biomarkers of Sjögren’s Syndrome Using Single-Cell Autoantibody Nanowells (SCAN)
A fundamental goal of my research project to develop a highly sensitive and specific single-multiplex platform to detect early serological biomarkers of Sjögren’s syndrome (SS). SS is best classified as a systemic, hypersensitive Type II inflammatory-based rheumatic disease characterized by chronic progressive immune attacks primarily against the salivary and lacrimal glands, resulting, respectively, in dry mouth and dry eye diseases. Current biotechniques limit the accurate prediction of the disease, and need to be transformed to provide unambiguous disease diagnosis and prognosis. Dr. Nguyen’s laboratory has designed a transformative and innovative assay called Single-Cell Autoantibody Nanowells or SCAN which can be used to quantitatively measure the secretion of many autoAbs concurrently from single functional live B cells. To apply this innovative technology and establish an immunoassay for SS, I propose to develop SCAN into a standard multiplex diagnostic platform for SS-associated biomarkers. Results from the proposed studies are expected to show feasibility of using SCAN to profile specific autoantibody-producing B cells from labial salivary glands and peripheral blood.