2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Biology
Supported by: Pitch and Catherine Johnson
Mentor: Matthew Porteus, Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Cancer Biology)

Niraj Punjya is a rising junior on the molecular and cellular biology track at Stanford. This summer, he is conducting genetic engineering research in the Porteus lab, using engineered nucleases such as TALENs and CRISPRs to study triplet repeat disorders such as Huntington’s disease and myotonic dystrophy. Because varying repeat lengths in the same gene lead to different pathologies, Niraj hopes to create cell lines with varying lengths of the repeat segment to accurately model these diseases, thus providing a means to screen therapeutics. In the future, Niraj intends to apply to MD/PhD programs.

Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

Creating Myotonic Dystrophy Triplet Repeat Corrected Cell Lines using Engineered Nucleases

Niraj Punjya1, Ayal Hendel1, Matthew Porteus1
[Department of Pediatrics1, Stanford University]