Alexis Boulter

Alexis Boulter
Mentor: Dr. Connie Mulligan
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
 
"Research provides me with an opportunity to apply what I learn in the classroom in a practical way, which reinforces concepts and allows me to gain a greater understanding. Research also challenges me to push my boundaries and forces me to cultivate ingenuity and a process of constant learning to stay current. Most of all, it provides an opportunity to make large-scale impacts to better and serve communities and society as a whole."

Major

Microbiology & Cell Science

Minor

Dance

Research Interests

  • Evolutionary Genetics
  • HIV/Infectious Disease
  • Community Health/Health Disparities

Academic Awards

  • University Scholars Program
  • HHMI Undergraduate Research Intramural Award/HHMI Extramural Award, Pasteur Institute
  • CASE Poster Competition (3rd Place)
  • President's Honor Roll

Organizations

  • Florida Health Department's Minority AIDS Program
  • Student Health Affairs Cabinet
  • Center for Undergraduate Board of Students (CURBS)

Volunteer

  • Dance for Life
  • Signing Gators
  • Camp Boggy Creek

Hobbies and Interests

  • Swimming
  • Dance
  • Cooking
  • Traveling

Research Description

Evaluation of Alu Polymorphisms and Instances of Discrimination in Association with Hypertension in African-Americans

African Americans are disproportionately affected with cardiovascular disease in comparison with non-Hispanic, white Americans and have a 30% higher instance of mortality. The purpose of this study was to explore and evaluate possible genetic and environmental risk factors that could contribute to this disparity, using hypertension as an indicator for cardiovascular disease. For the genetic portion of the project, polymorphisms in the ACE, WNK-1, and TPA genes were selected because of previous associations but had never been evaluated in an African-American population. Sociocultural data, focusing primarily on instances of discrimination, were analyzed in parallel to determine the factors that had the greatest impact on the disparity in cardiovascular disease outcomes.