University of Washington, Undergraduate Researcher January 2010 – June 2012 My project focused on the cellular reprogramming of human fibroblasts into human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) via demethylase and transcription factor lentiviruses. By targeting specific histones at the outset of reprogramming, we are attempting to increase normalcy of the hiPSC methylome as compared to that of embryonic stem cells. The stages of the experiment which I was responsible for included the design of demethylase and transcription factor plasmids and lentiviruses, followed by the transformation and infection of human tissue and subsequent viral harvesting. If the hiPSC methylome created more closely resembles that of embryonic stem cells, these hiPSCs will be more useful than the current standard for therapeutic applications. In addition to this project, I assist on other projects in which I perform RNA-SEQ and ChIP-SEQ and build libraries.
University of Washington, Lab Assistant September 2012 – June 2013 Bendich Laboratory, Plant Biology My research was focused on homologous transformation of chloroplast DNA through particle bombardment. Various vectors will be designed to test transformation efficiency and achievement of homoplasmy in monocots.
United States Department of Energy, SULI Intern June 2012 – August 2012 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory In this Department of Energy-sponsored internship focusing on biofuels development, I isolated RNA for RNA-SEQ of full transcriptomes in the filamentous fungi Amorphotheca resinae. A. resinae is a fungi often found inside jet fuel tanks and has a deleterious effect on fuel composition, but also has the ability to convert simple sugars into alkanes and isoprenes. RNA was extracted for sequencing in collaboration with the Joint Genome Institute. Analysis of its transcriptome may provide insight into the metabolic pathway of sugar to alkane conversion and A. resinae’s ability to directly synthesize advanced biofuels. Insights gained from this research may allow for the development of novel catalysts for use in industrial biofuel production.
University of Washington Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Departmental Honors Dean’s List