"I applied to the Scholars program because I will be applying to PhD programs in the Biomedical Sciences this year. I knew the Scholars program would assist me in learning more about becoming a scientist. In addition, it interested me to be able to work on a project independently. Also, my previous lab experience was in animal behavior, but I wanted to get involved in a more biomedical and technical lab."
Drug discovery, drug metabolism and kinetics, pharmacogenomics, neurological diseases such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia.
Academic and Other Awards
- University Scholars Program Scholarship (2011-2012)
- UF Anderson Scholar with Distinction
- Dean's List (2008-2010)
- Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Science For Life
- Group Advantaged Training of Research (GATOR)
- UF Biology Department (2009)
- Florida Bright Futures (2008-2012)
- Florida Writer Classic Tournament (2011)
- Florida Alternative Breaks Site Leader
- Florida Women's Ultimate Frisbee Club (2010-Present)
- Women's Leadership Council (2009-2010)
- Women's History Month Committee (2009)
Florida Alternative Breaks.
Hobbies and Interests
- Ultimate frisbee, art, watching sports, philosophy, and research.
Determining the Association of Haptoglobin Gene Polymorphisms with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
The inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are distinct chronic inflammatory disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. The etiology of IBD is unknown, but is believed to be an abnormal immune response directed against gut bacteria in genetically susceptible individuals. Haptoglobin (Hp) is an acute phase protein that is mostly synthesized by hepatocytes in human liver. Haptoglobin is produced in response to infections and inflammatory response. There are two common genetic polymorphisms in the human haptoglobin gene designated as alleles Hp1 and Hp2 with three different possible genotypes: homozygous (1-1 or 2-2) and heterozygous (2-1). The haptoglobin polymorphisms have been associated with autoimmune diseases and prevalence of infections. Genomic DNA isolated from blood of 110 IBD patients will be genotyped by Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) genotyping method. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) primers for Hp1 and Hp2 alleles will be used to amplify the 1757 base pairs and 3481 base pairs DNA fragments of Hp1 and Hp2, respectively. The PCR fragments will be analyzed on 1% agarose gel electrophoresis to detect the presence of 1757 base pairs and 3481 base pairs DNA fragments of Hp1 and Hp2. All genotyping will occur at the UF Center for Pharmacogenomics. Genotyping data for Hp1 and Hp2 alleles from 110 IBD subjects will be collected and analyzed. Allele frequency will be determined by gene counting; chi-square will be used to compare the allele frequency between racial and ethnic groups. The statistical analyses will be performed using the SAS (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC) statistical software package. The results from this study may contribute to the field of personalized medicine. If we know an IBD patient's haptoglobin genotype before prescribing medication, we can shorten the trial-and-error process of determining the best drug for that individual.