Off The Water: Earland To Present Research Abstract

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March 6, 2014

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DALLAS (SMU) - Rowing student-athlete Dominique Earland will showcase her talents as part of an abstract presentation at the Puerto Rico Science Conference's Minority Trainee Research Forum on March 14. The freshman does this as part of the Physician Scientist Training Program through the Mustangs Bridge Program and the Distance Learning Center.

"The research I am presenting was performed in the summer of 2011 at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine," Earland said. "PTSP has given me many opportunities and I am very grateful to have been able to conduct research at such a young age. I hope to continue doing research every summer with the program and achieve my goal in obtaining my M.D. PhD."

The PSTP is directed by Dr. Moses Williams and Dr. Charles Knibb. The Distance Learning Center is "a revolutionary training paradigm generating new researchers for medicine, science, technology, engineering and math from underrepresented minority populations".

"I have been involved in the program since eighth grade and every summer they have given me the opportunity to do research at various research institutions and schools of medicine including University of Pennsylvania, the NIH in Maryland and UT Southerwestern," Earland said.

Earland's abstract features The Role of IL-17 in Tumor Chemokine Production.

The Role of IL-17 in Tumor Chemokine Production

Dominique Earland, Patrick Guirnalda, Ph. D, Yvonne Paterson, Ph. D
Department of Microbiology
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP) 2011

Abstract

Cancer is the disease of uncontrolled cell growth. The cells can develop into tumors, excess cell mass. Malignant tumors have the ability to metastize by secreting VEGF, vascular endothelial growth factor. It promotes angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels form preexisting blood vessels. The immune system has the ability to fight the metastise of cancer.  Tumor infiltrating T cell of the cellular immunity include cytotoxic T cell and natural killer cells which have the ability to kill cancer cells. Immunotherapy can increase the amount tumor infiltrating T cell to aid in tumor regression. Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment, in this experiment a listeria vaccine was the form of immunotherapy. It induced upregulated amount of pro-inflammatory cytokine (TNF a, IFN g, and IL-17) and stimulated CXC chemokines. CXC chemokines consist of  CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL11. These cytokines work together to control cellular trafficking and the recruitment of T cells. IFN g stimulates the response of the CXC chemokines. When IFN g  synergizes with TNF a its chemokine production increases. Previous data within the Paterson Lab has shown that up regulated amounts of IL-17 (pro-inflammatory cytokine) were secreted after the stimulation of the listeria vaccine. This study is was investigated to understand the role of IL-17 in the process. Colon cancer, kidney cancer, breast cancer, and melanoma tumors were stimulated with Il-17 in the absence and presence of other pro-inflammatory cytokines. The RNA from the cells was purified and was check to assure of it's quality. The cDNA was synthesized from the RNA and a qRT-PCR was run. The data concluded that IL-17 function in the expression of the CXC chemokine and VEGF was a tumor specific response.