Lina Maria Mancipe Castro

Name: Lina Mancipe Castro
Country: Colombia
Mentor: Pampee Paul Young, M.D., Ph.D.

Hola a todos, I’m Lina from Colombia!! I’m a junior student of Biomedical Engineering at Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia. There, I work with Professor Diana Marcela Tabima in the Tissue Engineering Lab. We are interested in the use of small intestinal submucosa (SIS) for the design of resorbable vascular grafts.

I’m very interested in pursuing a Ph.D. degree in biomedical sciences after I complete my undergraduate studies next year. Thus, I was looking for an opportunity to gain more research experience and improve my research skills. But above all of that, I was looking for an opportunity to do some networking, meet people with different cultures and have fun. And, what is better than the VISRA program for doing that?  

At Vanderbilt University, I joined Dr. Pampee Young Lab which is interested in evaluating the effect of the WNT pathway inhibition in tissue regeneration. It has been seen that the inhibition of this biochemical pathway enhances skin regeneration (including hair follicles and sebaceous glands!) and cartilage formation after a wounding process in a mouse model. Something that has never been published before!! My objective is to evaluate the effect of WNT pathway inhibition on human skin regeneration, hair follicle and cartilage formation using two in vitro models: a human skin substitute and cell co-culture of fibroblast with keratinocytes and chondrocytes.

I have enjoyed the experience, not only because I can do research, which is one of my favorite things, but also because I have had the opportunity of talking with professors and Ph.D students to gain a clear idea about how the research life is. I have also met people from all over the world and learned about different countries and cultures. Finally, Nashville is a very peaceful and green city that is the perfect place for having fun with my new VISRA friends, the downtown is full of the magic of country music (I didn’t know I liked this music, but now I know it’s awesome). Thus, if you enjoy doing research and you want to pursue graduate studies, and you also want to live an unforgettable summer, then VISRA is the right program for you