Impacts of modulating H3K27me3 in regulating brain aging




Florence R.C. Murray Professor of Biology; Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Project Summary

Over the course of my experience with PURM, my mentor in the Bonini lab and I looked to expand on ongoing research in the field of epigenetics. Specifically, we intended on identifying the negative impacts on fitness levels of H3K27me3, a histone marker regulated by a specific microRNA. In our experiments, we used Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism. We used several genetically modified lines of these flies to view phenotypic changes both in fitness and in chemical composition. With the PURM mentoring program, I was able to learn how to conduct work with Drosophila, as there are specific protocol required for maintaining and working with these animals, as well as developed competence in common experiments such as the Western Blot and several Stress Sensitivity Assays. I am grateful for the experience as in some cases it was a continuation of content I had learned the previous year in courses with the biology department. Additionally, it was a fortunate coincidence that the primary investigator of my lab (Dr. Nancy Bonini) would be my professor the upcoming semester for my BIOL 221 course. Since this course dives deep into genetics, the research I was able to perform through PURM will give me a strong foundation for success in this course. Most importantly, I am glad for the experience of conducting research in a professional setting, whether I choose to continue working with this lab or in this specific field or not, because research is a valuable and vital aspect of education. Having been my first true experience conducting research in a laboratory, my time with PURM will allow me to confidently approach experience in my future endeavors.