Me Ree Chung

Identifying Upstream Kinases in JUNB Macrophage Activation

Despite the rapid evolution of medicine and technology, half the global population still remains at risk for malaria, a common tropical disease that has been one of the leading causes of death in children. While public health and macro level efforts have been highly successful in attempting to curb the mosquito-borne disease, researchers have been looking into molecular and biological based defenses against malaria. Macrophages are an essential part of the immune system that promote elimination of malaria infected cells, so the immune systems regulation of such macrophages are of great interest to researchers. Through this project, I will investigate the specific transcription factor JUNB, which has been associated with macrophage regulation, and its underlying regulatory pathways. I will accomplish this by using pharmacological inhibitors of several kinase families associated with activation of members of the transcription factor family of which JUNB is a member and by generating bone marrow derived macrophages from these specific kinase deficient mice and testing their response to stimulation. Identifying upstream regulators of macrophage activation will contribute greatly to the growing body of research that seeks to find immunological defenses against malaria.

Message to Sponsor

I am deeply grateful to the Rose Hills Foundation and the SURF program for making this project possible and allowing me to devote my full time into significant and necessary research that I have been a part of for almost two years now. This is a wonderful opportunity to go beyond the classroom and truly immerse myself and work alongside some of the best scientists in the nation. I hope to finish this project successfully and work towards writing a thesis and/or contributing towards a future academic publication.
  • Major: Integrative Biology, Public Health
  • Sponsor: SURF Rose Hills fellow
  • Mentor: Charlie Kim, Division of Experimental Medicine