Newly Discovered Functions of MAIT Cells Suggests a Possible Target for Immunotherapy and Vaccine Treatments

Sooraj Shah ’24 While much focus has been given to the COVID-19 pandemic, autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, also affect seven percent of the American population. Recent research suggests a potential link between mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells and the two diseases, as both COVID-19 and autoimmune diseases trigger increased MAIT cell response. A study led by Dr. Charles Vorkas, a professor in the Department … Continue reading Newly Discovered Functions of MAIT Cells Suggests a Possible Target for Immunotherapy and Vaccine Treatments

Exosomes: A Surprising Key to Spinal Injury Recovery

Alex Moir ’23 Exosomes, which carry biomolecular cargo around the body, are a group of vesicles secreted by almost all human cells. Exosomal delivery is also cell-specific, as the outer membrane surface of exosomes contains molecules that only bind with target recipient cell membranes. Recent research has suggested exosomes may play a role in wound healing and cell repair at sites of tissue damage, positioning … Continue reading Exosomes: A Surprising Key to Spinal Injury Recovery

A New Potential Vaccine Candidate for Staphylococcus aureus

Alex Moir ’23 Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium often found in both skin and the upper respiratory tract. Despite its native status in the human body, S. aureus can also act as an opportunistic pathogen in immunocompromised hosts. Efforts to create an effective S. aureus vaccine have so far proven unsuccessful due to the diverse array of immunoevasive strategies S. aureus employs. Specifically, … Continue reading A New Potential Vaccine Candidate for Staphylococcus aureus

Uncovering the Link Between SARS-CoV-2 and Vascular Dysregulation

Alex Moir ’23 SARS-CoV-2 is the virus currently driving the COVID-19 pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to infect ciliated epithelial cells (EPCs), which line the upper respiratory tract, through a cell surface receptor known as angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), resulting in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). ARDS is characterized by both pulmonary and vascular dysregulation, which presents as shortness of breath, low oxygen, and poor … Continue reading Uncovering the Link Between SARS-CoV-2 and Vascular Dysregulation

The Future of Synthetic Biology

Aditi Kaveti ‘23 Natural genetic processes can lose their function over long-term evolution if that function requires too many resources to continue throughout generations. Scientists have been studying evolutionary reversibility, which is the ability to regain a lost function, in order to repair natural systems that have lost such valuable evolutionary processes. To this end in the field of synthetic biology, researchers employ and manipulate … Continue reading The Future of Synthetic Biology

Discovering the Role of the Neuropilin Pain Pathway in Asymptomatic COVID-19 Cases

Aditi Kaveti ’23 In the United States, there have been more than 7 million documented cases of COVID-19, leading to over 200,000 deaths nationwide. This high number of cases is due to the rapid spread of the deadly disease, which is caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. Many researchers believe that the rapid spread can be in part attributed to a high number of asymptomatic … Continue reading Discovering the Role of the Neuropilin Pain Pathway in Asymptomatic COVID-19 Cases

Melittin: A Natural Peptide from Bee Venom Which Induces Apoptosis in Human Leukemia Cells

Thumyat Noe ’23 Past research has shown that honeybee’s venom has the potential to treat various diseases such as arthritis, chronic pain, cancer, and atopic dermatitis. The venom mostly consists of peptides and low molecular weight compounds such as sugars and amino acids. Melittin is one of the peptides found within honeybee’s venom and possesses the most bioactive properties among all the compounds in the … Continue reading Melittin: A Natural Peptide from Bee Venom Which Induces Apoptosis in Human Leukemia Cells

Dexamethasone as a Possible Treatment for Patients Diagnosed with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Simran Kaur ‘20 Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is characterized by the build-up of fluid in the alveoli of the lungs, the main sites of gaseous exchange, causing a lack of oxygen in the body. ARDS is caused by sudden trauma to the lungs, and there currently is no pharmacological treatment for the condition. Researchers in the study sought to determine the efficacy of dexamethasone, … Continue reading Dexamethasone as a Possible Treatment for Patients Diagnosed with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Breast Cancer Metastasis Hypothesized to be Affected by Type of Administered Anesthesia

Simran Kaur ‘20 Complete surgical resection of breast tissue, known as a mastectomy, is often suggested as the first-line treatment in patients diagnosed with breast cancer. Metastasis, the spread of cancer cells to other parts of the body, is a frequent occurrence after surgery and is the primary cause of cancer-related deaths. It was hypothesized by the researchers in this study that the type of … Continue reading Breast Cancer Metastasis Hypothesized to be Affected by Type of Administered Anesthesia

The Role of Gene Expression Variation in the Development of Mammalian Drug Resistance

Simran Kaur ‘20 Designing drugs is often challenging because identical cells within a specific network will exhibit varying genetic expression (noise), resulting in drug resistance. The source of this variation is most often stochastic, accumulations of random fluctuations occurring during transcription, translation, and post-translational regulation. Gene expression noise currently poses as the greatest barrier in finding a cure for cancer and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). … Continue reading The Role of Gene Expression Variation in the Development of Mammalian Drug Resistance

Chloroquine as a Promising Anti-Viral Drug in Immunocompromised Patients Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Simran Kaur ‘20 SARS-CoV-2, a new type of coronavirus, is responsible for a global pandemic that currently has infected hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide. The virus belongs to the same family of viruses responsible for certain cases of the common cold, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The virus is incredibly contagious, spreading through respiratory droplets and exploiting commonly-found human … Continue reading Chloroquine as a Promising Anti-Viral Drug in Immunocompromised Patients Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dexamethasone as a Possible Treatment for Patients Diagnosed with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Simran Kaur ‘20 Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is characterized by the build-up of fluid in the alveoli of the lungs, the main sites of gaseous exchange, causing a lack of oxygen in the body. ARDS is caused by sudden trauma to the lungs, and there currently is no pharmacological treatment for the condition. Researchers in the study sought to determine the efficacy of dexamethasone, … Continue reading Dexamethasone as a Possible Treatment for Patients Diagnosed with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome