Joo Yeon (Jenny) Ryu

The Affect of 9-cis-Retinoic Acid on Glucose Stimulated Insulin Secretion

9-cis-retinoic acid (9cRA) is one of the many derivatives of vitamin A. Although vitamin A derivatives are most known for their involvement in sight, they are involved in many physiological process such as the immune response, the development of many organs, and the maintenance of normal internal conditions like blood glucose. Normally, glucose levels are closely regulated by hormones of the pancreas such as insulin and glucagons. However in the case of diabetes, this tight regulation collapses. 9cRA has shown potential in correcting the hormonal imbalance characteristic of diabetes. How 9cRA does this is a bit of a mystery. This summer, I aim to shed some light on this interesting mystery which may yield valuable information for the development of drug treatments for diabetes.

Message to Sponsor

For me, this is an opportunity to make the best of my undergraduate experience. Being involved in research as an undergraduate is an exciting, challenging, and incredibly rewarding experience: it opens up a perspective on science that I would not have seen if I simply attended classes (as interesting as they may be). SURF encouraged me to pursue an ambitious and wildly interesting research project for my last summer and has already helped to focus my project through the research proposal writing process. I look forward to being able to add my small but precious piece to the ongoing scientific puzzle.
  • Major:
  • Mentor: Joseph Napoli, Nutritional Science and Technology