Sravya Chilukuri

Confirming the Presence of Functional CatSper Ion Channels in Primate and Rat Sperm Cells

There is an abundance of what humans consider to be pest animals in the world, such as a high population of rats or an uncontrollable populace of monkeys. These pest animals can often act as vectors for disease and they can damage property or endanger human life. It is crucial to control these growing populations in order to avoid these problems. One major way to control population growth is through effective and humane methods of sterilization. I intend to do this by creating an antibody vaccine against the principal calcium ion channel of sperm, CatSper. However in order to create a successful vaccine, it is crucial to first confirm the actual presence and functionality of CatSper in monkeys and rats, which is what my project aims to achieve. Through this project, I hope to lay the foundation for creating a sterilization vaccine to combat these excessive populations of pest animals.

Message to Sponsor

I am extremely grateful for this opportunity given to me by the Rose Hills Foundation to develop myself as a researcher and biologist. Without SURF, I would not have been able to stay in Berkeley for the summer to carry out this project. This project is something that I am very excited to undertake and I know that I will become more independent when it comes to the lab setting. By the end of this summer and in the future, I know that I will become a more confident biologist. This is a privilege that I am thankful for, and I will put my best effort going forth.
  • Major: Molecular and Cell Biology, Neurobiology, Public Policy (minor)
  • Sponsor: SURF Rose Hills fellow
  • Mentor: Polina Lishko, Molecular and Cell Biology