Anna Rushin


Mentor: Dr. Christopher Martyniuk

College of Veterinary Medicine

I love that there is so much to discover in biomedical research, specifically in biochemistry and molecular biology. I believe I have the curiosity needed to develop and answer questions related to what occurs at the molecular level. I know that no matter where my interests lead me, there will be something unknown to study.

Major

Interdisciplinary Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Microbiology

Minor

History

Research Interests

  • Cell Signaling
  • Proteomics
  • Gene Expression

Academic Awards

  • W.W. Massey, Sr. Presidential Scholarship 2016
  • University Scholars Program 2016-2017
  • W.W. Massey, Sr. Presidential Scholarship 2017
  • University Scholars Program 2017-2018

Organizations

  • University of Florida Kickboxing Club
  • Graham Civic Scholars Program
  • University of Florida Honors Program
  • UF Shands Hospital

Volunteer

  • UF Shands Hospital

Hobbies and Interests

  • Weightlifting
  • Running
  • Cooking
  • Traveling

Research Description

The Effect of Itraconazole on Mitochondrial Bioenergetics and Gene Expression
Chemicals that affect mitochondrial bioenergetics are abundant in the environment. However, the mechanisms of how chemicals affect mitochondrial dysfunction are not well understood and there is a need to develop high throughput assays to quantify the effects of chemical impacts on mitochondrial bioenergetics as impaired mitochondria often leads to oxidative stress and apoptosis. The objectives of this study are to determine the relative risk of pesticides in the environment to dopamine synthesizing cells in order to understand how pesticides affect mitochondrial function in cells that produce this important neurotransmitter. I also aim to determine the genomic mechanisms underlying mitochondrial toxicity. Rat dopaminergic N27 cells will be treated in vitro with the fungicide itraconazole, an antifungal currently used in medicine. Following 24 hour incubations of the N27 cells with these pesticides, I will extract total RNA and measure the relative abundance of genes in the cells. We will also conduct mitochondrial respiration assays in the cells to determine if their metabolic capacity has been compromised by the chemicals. Real-time PCR will be conducted to determine how these chemicals are affecting genes associated with mitochondrial function and oxidative stress.