Initially, attending Lebanon Valley College was simply a path to a degree. Then, I found myself drawn to the technology I saw in laboratories. It seemed my interest in merging technology and medicine was continually piqued at every turn, and I became more aware of how technology was transforming medicine. I believe that such breakthroughs will be significant in the success of emerging medical fields such as personalized medicine to improve the quality of health care without restrictions. I come from Zimbabwe where diseases that could easily be treated such as diabetes still contribute the most to death rate, even with insulin treatment. I have witnessed that most people in Zimbabwe are not responding to the normal doses of insulin. Therefore, my goal is to merge technology and medicine to research how personalized medicine can be effective in the treatment of such diseases, particularly in places like Zimbabwe where advanced medical technologies are rare. At the MIT Biology Department, I will gain technical skills and knowledge to pursue research in biomedical projects that focus on personalized medicine. Apart from science, I love learning languages and currently I am pursuing a French concentration, I hope to work in countries around the world to improve healthcare services in places that have limited access to healthcare.
Profiling of tRNA Modification Patterns in Human Embryonic Kidney Cells Under Oxidative Stress
Fatima Madondo1, Junzhou Wu2, Jingjing Sun2 and Peter Dedon2
1Department of Biology, Lebanon Valley College
2Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Recent research has shown that cells dynamically regulate modifications on transfer RNA (tRNA) to manage survivor genes expression in response to stress, which is based on biased use of synonymous codons that match the modification altered tRNAs. The tRNA modification patterns have been observed with highly variable in bacteria, yeast, rodent and human cell lines. My research is to study the tRNA modification changes in human embryonic kidney cells (HEK293) under oxidative stress, which has not been reported before. The hypothesis is that HEK293 cells change a specific group of tRNA modifications in response to oxidative stress. To measure this, we exposed HEK293 cells to hydrogen peroxide, isolated tRNA after treatment, hydrolyzed tRNA into mono-nucleosides and quantified relative modification changes by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS). The results indicated that many wobble modifications significantly decreased after hydrogen peroxide treatment, supporting that oxidative stress-induced tRNA modification reprogramming may take place in HEK293 cells, further studies are needed to clarify its linkage with stress-essential genes regulation.