Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

YeeAnn Chen L&S Sciences

Characterizing the Tumor Suppressive Functions of MIR-449 miRNAs in the E-myc B Cell Lymphoma Mouse Model

Cancer is a potent disease that occurs when cells acquire certain mutations that cause uncontrollable cell growth. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that have been associated in cancer development. In our research, we specifically study the tumor suppressive effects of miRNAs on B cell lymphoma, a type of blood cancer in the lymph nodes. We have determined that the deletion of mir-34a or mir-34bc (tumor suppressive miRNAs) accelerate lyphomagenesis. More recently, it has been shown that there is a homologous cluster of miRNAs, the mir-449 family, suggesting similar functions. While the ultimate goal is to understand how these miRNA clusters interact and collectively act in a tumor suppressive role, I aim to understand the effects of losing the mir-449 cluster alone on lymphomagensis. I propose to determine the extent of acceleration of lymphomagenesis due to the loss of mir-449, and whether this acceleration is through proliferation or cell death.

Message To Sponsor

I have worked in Dr. Lin Hes lab for the past year, and am excited to continue researching under her mentorship. Being a SURF fellow will allow me to focus on learning as much as possible in lab this summer, which will help greatly in working towards my senior thesis. I plan to use this opportunity to explore the reasoning behind why each experiment is carried out, to learn how to effectively troubleshoot, and to be proficient in planning future experiments. Thank you to my SURF sponsors for this amazing opportunity!
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Major: Molecular & Cell Biology: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Mentor: Lin He, Molecular and Cell Biology
Sponsor: Pergo Fund
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