Any significant damage to our heart tissue results in permanent scarring and irreversible loss of function, but animals like newts and zebrafish can naturally replace the lost tissue and recover to a healthy state. Looking at trends between species, it appears that mammals may have evolved to lose regenerative potential as they acquired endothermy. Interestingly, we can see a similar trend in a single mouse. In its neonatal stage, a mouse can regenerate functional heart tissue, but loses this ability within a few days as its body temperature increases. This suggests that mammals may have an innate regenerative potential that is lost as the metabolic rate increases to meet the demands of endothermy. To explain the link between metabolism and regeneration, I will be identifying and analyzing potential molecular mechanisms that mediate crosstalk between the heart and thermogenic brown adipose tissue, alongside other metabolic organs. In parallel with this molecular […]
As a fellow, I will be working to develop a live-cell imaging platform to understand the mechanisms of the CRISPR-CasX endonuclease and its potential to be harnessed for gene-editing. More specifically, I will be looking at the length of the protein’s DNA binding and its rate of repair. My findings will provide a clearer understanding of CRISPR mechanisms in cells, and ultimately, how we could apply these interactions to treat human diseases in a timely manner.
This project is exploring the tunability of helical van der Waals nanowires. These nanoscale wires are made of layers of Germanium Sulfide stacked on top of each other, similar to graphite being made of stacked layers of graphene. However, in these nanowires, there is a literal twist running down the middle, resulting in a double helix structure that produces unique properties. This Eshelby twist links the twist rate of the nanowire with a dislocation in the middle of the nanowire, and the cross-sectional area. Through modulation of the catalyst size, the cross-sectional area, twist rate, and electronic properties of the nanowires can be tuned. Poly-l-lysine, a polymer, will be used to control the coalescence of the catalyst particles, allowing for the synthesis of thinner nanowires and altered properties.