IM Ph.D. Student
First year student in the IM Ph.D. program.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Advisor: Dr. Philip Pellett
B.S. in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from University of Michigan-Flint
My M.S. thesis research focuses on how infection by Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) induces reorganization of the Endocytic Recycling Compartment (ERC) to form the cytoplasmic virion assembly compartment (cVAC).
Two-dimensional (2D)cell cultures have shown that HCMV causes a enlarged and bent nuclear phenotype, as well as a ring composed of tubular structures derived from the Golgi and trans-Golgi with a number of endocytic veiscles inside. My aim is to visualize the cVAC in a three-dimensional (3D) model to provide more insight on this phenotype in an environment that more closely resembles human tissues. To study this, I am developing three-dimensional spheroid cell culture model based on a liquid overlay spheroid cell culture system that demonstrates the formation of a fibroblast micro-tumor in a non-adherent vessel. Combining three-dimensional cell culture, histological processing, immunofluorescent microscopy, and three-dimensional computational reconstructions, this system will provide insight to how HCMV influences cytoplasmic morphology and cell-to-cell interactions in an environment that more closely mimics human tissues.