Collaboration leads to solutions

This week I really got to dig into my individual summer project! It’s a joint project with Dr. Jerry Molitor who is focused on scleroderma. Seeing collaboration between labs is so refreshing because instead of seeing a highly competitive and self-contained atmosphere, my experience has been full of data sharing and collaborative efforts in order to come up with solutions.  He even said I could visit his clinic and shadow him, which is an amazing opportunity that I’m excited for.

The project is looking at an alternative splice variant called VEGF165b and how that affects blood vessel formation in comparison to its main variant VEGF and how that relates to autoimmune diseases.  I get to see the process of how a scientific question can be posed, assessed, and answered. Currently we’re getting through the “red tape” type experiments to make sure that the experiments we’d like to use are functioning properly, so I’m excited to see where we go from here!


About the Author:

2012 Student Summer Fellow Brianna Lauer is from Lakeville and will be a junior at the University of Minnesota this fall. Brianna is currently earning her major in Biology and working on a minor in neuroscience, in the hopes of a career in clinical research. Brianna is completing her fellowship in the lab of Dr. Emily Gillespie whose work is focused on studying patterns of gene and protein expression to identify pathways that are dysregulated in autoimmunity. Through this study, they hope to look for signals that can predict the future development of autoimmune disease in patients who test positive for antinuclear antibody (ANA).
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