Ashley Bushdorf

Mentor: Dr. Todd Brusko
College of Medicine
"Being a Pediatric Oncologist has always been my dream job. But, in the long process of becoming one, I have realized my love of science experiments and research. Once I attended Summer B my freshman year, here at UF, I knew that I needed to find a laboratory that was as passionate about identifying problems and creating solutions as I was. Members of my family have Type 1 Diabetes and after doing some extensive research on the topic I came upon Dr. Brusko's laboratory page. I corresponded with Dr. Brusko and became a part of his laboratory. I am incredibly blessed to have found such a passionate mentor and laboratory."





Research Interests

  • Oncology
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Immunology

Academic Awards

  • Florida Bright Futures Scholarship
  • American Diabetes Association Undergraduate Internship 2016
  • Presidential Service Award 2016
  • University Scholars Program 2016


  • President of Dream Team
  • Medical Journal Society
  • Delta Delta Delta


  • Baptist South Hospital
  • Dream Team at UFHealth Children's Hospital
  • UFHealth Children's Surgical Center

Hobbies and Interests

  • Volunteering with Children
  • Lacrosse
  • Swimming
  • Traveling

Research Description

Determining the influence of IL-12 and IL-18 on Type 1 diabetes pathogenesis
"Avoidance of infection and autoimmunity relies on a series of carefully orchestrated events within the immune system. When these processes fail, a variety of autoimmune disorders can arise, including type 1 diabetes which occurs when insulin producing pancreatic beta cells are destroyed. A number of studies suggest that T helper cells from patients with T1D exhibit a remarkable loss of immune regulation. We believe the reason for this loss of control resides, in part, in the abnormal production of inflammatory products of immune sentinel cells, referred to as antigen presenting cells that produce the factors IL-12 and IL-18. We will seek to identify not only the function but the phenotype and expansion capacity of naïve Th and Treg cells treated with IL-12 and/or IL-18, which have synergistic effects on immune cells."