" I was always fascinated by the unique facets of cancer that render it difficult to treat (i.e., arising in some instances from healthy cells), and found it to be a puzzle.I wanted to add to the volume of work conducted on cancer research - hoping that I can initiate or aid in an invivo trial using the protocol of transduction developed in the lab."
I am an Anthropology/Psychology major on the premed track. I plan on attending grad school before moving on to med school and becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon. Previous research interests are listed below: I ) Effects of water salinity on the intensity of light produced by Pyrocystis fusiformis. II) Effects of water quality testing under different circumstances compromising the ecological health of man-made ponds.
Academic and Other Awards
- University Scholars Program Scholarship (2011-2012)
- Jungle Labs (2011)
- Neuroscience Club Writer for MESHA
I have roots with several clinics in Tampa, where I volunteer with patients from different medical backgrounds. On frequent basis during each semester I also return to Tampa to shadow doctors I have established long-standing relationship with. My field study of ecology has left me with an alternative perspective on the environment. I help with all local cleanups which are conducted by clubs at UF.
Hobbies and Interests
- Physical activities, sports, running, working out, and dancing.
Adeno-Assosited Virus (AAV) Mediated Gene Transfer to Monocytes Derived Dendritic Cell (mDC) for Initiation Antigen-Specific Cytotoxic T-cell (CTL) Against Liver Cancer.
Molecular components of HB and HCC which are overexposed on the surface and cancer-specific are targeted to increase the efficiency of discriminating between the healthy and cancerous cells. Specifically, dendritic cells have the capacity to engender immune-responses which could render a response that is cancer-specific in both hepatoblastoma and hepatocellular carcinoma. Adeno-associated virus (AAV) is commonly used in gene transfer because of the viral characteristics which have enabled researchers to manipulate the genetic components of the subjects. In the lab we found an efficient protocol for adeno-assosited virus (AAV) gene delivery to monocytes derived dendritic cells (mDC) and generating specific to human telomerase cytotoxic T-cell (CTL) against liver cancer cell lines. Specific aim: In proposed studies we like to generate AAV uncoding Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) and Glypican 3 protein (GPC3) and induce CTL specific to these genes. The combination makes for a unique and ideal situation in immunotherapy as both proteins are highly expressed in liver cancer, and not in normal hepatocytes. Proteins like AFP and GPC3 present two targets that could be efficiently used in order to treat cancer in patients. Research design: 1. Generate AFP and GP3 cDNA by PCR with reading proof polymerase such as Pfu polymerase. 2. Subclone PCR products into AAV expression cassette under strong chicken-b-actin promoter. 3. Package both plasmids into recombinant adeno-assoisted virus. 4. Test transduction efficiency and expression level of produced viruses in monocytes derived dendritic cell (mDC) by qPCR and/or Western Blot (WB). 5. Generate cytotoxic T-cell specific to AFP and GPC3 by co-incubating CD8+ cells with mDC expressed respective proteins in the presence of Il-7 and Il-2. 6. Test killing ability of generated CTL on liver cancer specific cell lines such as Huh7 and Hep293. Specific cell lysis will be determined by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis of live/dead cell ratios.