2019 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Bioengineering
Mentor: Markus Covert, Bioengineering

Pro-inflammatory macrophage cells fight infection in the body and experience drastic metabolic changes when doing so. HIF-1α, a subunit of a genetic transcription factor, is required to achieve these changes, which include an increase in glycolysis, the enzymatic breakdown of glucose. However, HIF-1α’s effects on metabolism in a single cell are not well-studied. In order to get a more comprehensive understanding of HIF-1α’s role in helping to launch an immune response, Joanna will combine molecular biology techniques and live-cell microscopy to study how HIF-1α regulates changes in the rate of glycolysis in single pro-inflammatory macrophages.