B.Eng. Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, 2005
Ph.D. candidate, Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 2005-present
I work with Dr. Forest White and Dr. Doug Lauffenburger on quantitatively characterizing and comparing the signaling network triggered by cytokines IL-2 and IL-15 in T-Cells. IL-2 and IL-15 are critically involved in many central immune processes such as lymphoid homeostasis, clonal expansion, peripheral tolerance, and secondary T-cell generation and maintenance. Both cytokines signal through a heterotrimeric surface receptor composed of an alpha, a beta, and a gamma chain. Although each cytokine possesses its own private alpha chain, the beta and the gamma chain are shared. In addition, only the beta and gamma chains are known to possess intracellular motifs to initiate signal transduction. Due to this, IL-2 and IL-15 are both able to stimulate the proliferation and maintain viability of T-cells. Despite having the potential to initiate identical biochemical events IL-2 and IL-15 possess different and even antagonistic roles physiologically. The aim of my project is to use a combination of proteomics, biochemical, and computational techniques to determine the difference in the signaling network triggered by IL-2 and IL-15 and additionally the source of the difference.
This research will lend insight into how differing phenotypes can be achieved through the ligation of the same receptor with different ligands as has been observed for multiple cytokine and growth-factor receptors.
Nahmias Y, Arneja A, Tower TT, Renn MJ, Odde DJ. Cell patterning on biological gels via cell spraying through a mask. Tissue Eng. 2005 May-Jun;11(5-6):701-8.