Current Research Interests
Effect of extra-cellular support matrix on growth and function of cardiac myocytes
Under the guidance of Emilia Entcheva, we are interested in examining how the mechanical properties of the supporting matrix in which cells are cultured affect the growth, differentiation, and function of neonatal ventriculocytes.
Simulation of baroreceptor reflex in regulating blood pressure
As a side-hobby, I have been working on a flexible and extensible model/simulation of the baroreceptor reflex in regulating blood pressure in a man. Currently, the model is within a simulation framework I can creating called "Simulation Object Library" or SOL in C++.
Previous Research Activities
Phenotype and mechanisms underlying T-lymphocyte migration across "activated" endothelium
In a continuation of a former graduate student's project, Martha Furie's lab attempted to identify a sub-group of T-lymphocytes that preferentially migrated across inflamed or activated endothelium.
Epitope identification for an antibody against Caspase-3
Yuri Lazebnik's lab had previously created an antibody specific for caspase-3, an enzyme involved in the apoptotic cascade. My summer rotation project was to identify through various means the epitope of this antibody.
Shear-stress induced platelet activation in an in vitro circulatory model of a mechanical heart valve
To examine the hypothesis that mechanical heart valves increase the risk of thrombosis by activating platelets through shear-stress, we examined the degree of activation of platelets before and after they were subjected to a flow-loop device across either a commercially available mechanical heart valve, a shear-rate disk, or no obstructions in a collaborative effort between Danny Bluestein and Jolyn Jesty.
Role of CD40 and CD40L in T-lymphocyte tolerance to tumors
A large barrier to the development of anti-tumor vaccines is the normal immune tolerance to cells derived from the same person. Using a transgenic CD4+ tumor-specific T-lymphocyte model, we examined the role of CD40 and its ligand, CD40L, in mediating tumor tolerance.
Hyaluronan microsphere delivery of an adjuvant for prostate cancer vaccine
Previously, Hyam Levitsky's lab had established that co-injection of GM-CSF with in vitro cultured anti-tumor T-lymphocytes resulted in decreased mortality of mice challenged earlier with a tumor cell line injected sub-cutaneously. Using a biodegradable hyaluronan microsphere drug delivery device under investigation by Kam Leong, we assessed whether such microspheres containing either GM-CSF, DNA-encoding GM-CSF, or plain saline could augment the anti-tumor response of in vitro cultured and activated T-lymphocytes.
Antigen screening for a neoantigen on prostate tumors
Hyam Levitsky was also interested in identifying a neoantigen on prostate tumors as a potential target for therapeutic prostate cancer vaccine. Under the tutelage of Leon Hwang, we created hybridomas from B-cells harvested from prostate-tumor bearing mice and screened them for reactivity against a prostate tumor derived cell line.