"This is my second year participating in the University Scholars Program. I initially heard about the program through my research mentor, and I reapplied because of how much I enjoyed my first experience. I hope to further enhance my research skills and to grow upon what I have already accomplished in the lab. My goals for this academic year are to complete this research project, present my information, write a senior thesis, and graduate with honors."
Microbiology and Cell Science
I am interested in microbiology, especially genetics and proteins.
- National Merit (2008-present)
- Stephen C. O'Connell Leadership Scholarship (2008)
- Esther "Gussie" Gutery Mautz Scholarship (2011)
- Fred Montsdeoca Scholarship (2011)
- Gators for Haven Hospice
- Asian American Student Union
I volunteer at Haven Hospice as a patient/family volunteer. I sit with terminally patients and provide support in order to help make their end of life process as comfortable as possible. I also like to play piano for patients and help with other community outreach and administrative tasks at Haven Hospice.
Hobbies and Interests
- Playing piano, cooking Vietnamese food, fold modular origami and playing tennis
Improving Escherichia Coli Succinate Productivity
PA5202 is a pseudomonas aeruginosa thioester hydrolase that uses succinyl-CoA as a substrate to release succinate and CoA. The purpose of this work is to evaluate the succinate production in Escherichia coli strains overexpressing PA5202. Succinate is an intermediary product of the citric acid cycle that is quickly converted to fumarate. It has been demonstrated in the literature that a succinate dehydrogenase and pyruvate oxidase double mutant drastically improves E. coli succinate production. Nonetheless, this mutation should lead to a transient accumulation of the previous metabolic intermediate, succinyl-CoA. Our hypothesis is that the expression of a succinyl-CoA thioesterase (PA5202) in a double mutant strain will increase succinate productivity. A double mutant containing poxB and sdhA knockouts was created from the Keio library by insertion of a kanamycin cassette into the sdhA gene. Then, the PA5202 gene was cloned into the pBAD33 expression vector, and the recombinant plasmid was transformed into the double mutant. Once positive clones are confirmed, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) will be used to measure succinate in the media. Transformants will be grown in MOPS minimal media and 0.2% glucose. Arabinose will be added for induction. Samples will be taken at time points to quantify the rate of succinate production. This project will ideally and ultimately demonstrate that PA5202 can be utilized in vivo, which will provide insight for a more sustainable way to produce succinate on a larger scale, since it has many applications in the pharmaceutical and food industries.