Ryneth Sok

Mentor: Dr. Stephanie Karst
College of Medicine
 
"My desire to get involve in research began when I took Accelerated General Chemistry laboratory course in Spring semester of my freshman year at the University of Florida. Although the laboratory work was a rather difficult lab, I was very fascinated by many experiments, including those demonstrating gel electrophoresis and spectroscopy. I then took a one credit course called “Science for Life Seminar” which helped me learn about many research opportunities in variety fields of science at the University of Florida. This course actually provided me with the opportunity to meet one-on-one with many brilliant primary investigators, including Dr. Stephanie Karst who would become my primary investigator. I strongly believe that research helps broaden my knowledge of science, as well as improve the critical thinking skills and develop professionalism and work ethics. "

Major

Microbiology and Cell Science

Minor

Health Disparities in Society

Research Interests

  • Pathogenesis of noroviruses
  • Immunology
  • Vaccination

Academic Awards

  • University Scholar Program
  • Anderson Scholar with Distinction
  • I. Douglas Turner Grant
  • Florida Bright Future

Organizations

  • premed American Medical Student Association (AMSA)
  • Global Advocates for World Health
  • Community Health Service Corps

Volunteer

  • TOPSoccer
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • RAHMA Mercy Clinic

Hobbies and Interests

  • Playing Soccer
  • Ziplining
  • Listening to music
  • Jogging

Research Description

The Effects of Specific Point Mutations on Infectivity and Virulence of Murine Norovirus

My research project focus on the specific point mutations on the capsid of murine novirus (MNV) and its effects on the infectivity of the virus through enhancing virulence and preventing host immune from recognizing and binding to the antigenic site and receptor of MNV. With designed primers, I will perform mutagenesis to induce changes of RNA sequence of parental viruses at specific codons. I will perform virus neutralization assays to test whether specific mutations alter virus-specific antibody binding. If mutant viruses are observed to be resistant to antibody-mediated neutralization, I will proceed to vivo studies to confirm whether they are true immune mutants. To test virulence of mutant viruses, I will infect susceptible mice with antibody resistant mutant viruses and compare its virulence to parental viruses (MNV1 and MNV3) under the same condition.