Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Nyssa Alvarado

Determining Mechanisms of COPD, Airflow Obstruction, and Diffusion Abnormality Development in HIV-Positive Individuals

My summer research is a clinical study set to examine certain microbial and inflammatory biomarkers in the lungs of HIV-positive patients, particularly those prone to opportunistic pneumonia. Our work utilizes pulmonary function tests, blood samples, and bronchoscopy procedure findings to evaluate possible mechanisms that cause the development of severe symptoms such as airflow obstruction and oxygen diffusion abnormalities. Our research works toward the end goal of understanding how the development/progression of life threatening diseases like COPD, emphysema or chronic bronchitis occurs, and how to aid in preventing their development in immunocompromised, HIV-positive individuals.


Message To Sponsor

As an aspiring physician and current emergency medical technician, I've had major exposure to the life-threatening consequences of COPD and the debilitating effects of HIV. These are dangerous conditions I see in my patients everyday, and the opportunity to be a part of a research effort that combats these diseases, is one I am enormously thankful for. I truly appreciate the chance to grow my clinical research skills as a future physician and contribute to research that directly affects the patients I provide care for.
Major: Molecular & Cell Biology
Mentor: Laurence Huang, UCSF
Sponsor: Chandra Research Fellow - Chandra Fund
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