Graduate Student, Molecular Pathology, and Immunology
My studies in the Zinkel lab focus on unraveling the immune and inflammatory signaling pathways underlying hematologic and oncologic diseases such as myelodysplastic syndromes and leukemias. We plan to employ mouse models of these diseases and molecular biology techniques to understand dysregulation of the immune response. Specifically, these studies will also include infection of mouse models of myelodysplastic syndromes and leukemias in order to understand the impact of infection-induced inflammation on progression to cancer and long-term disease states. Importantly, these mouse models closely replicate the immune response that occurs in humans that suffer from these diseases, and our findings would directly translate to potential novel therapeutic targets, such as inhibition of these inflammatory pathways. As a member of the APMM, I would learn how to more effectively connect my findings from mouse models to human medicine, including the safe and effective practice of clinical studies. This program would provide me with the knowledge of ethical and practical considerations of clinical research, which could be applied to utilizing human samples, employing human databank sources, and communicating with clinical physicians and patients about the importance of my studies.