Izabella Zamora

Izabella  Zamora
Eric and Wendy Schmidt Center Funded Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: Caroline Uhler
Department: Biology & Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Areas of Research: Computational Biology
Years: 2022-2023
Research Project Title:

Immune Hub Analysis Using Spatial Sequencing Data for Colorectal Cancer

abstract:Colorectal Cancer (CRC) responsiveness to immunotherapy varies drastically between mismatch repair deficient (MMRd) and mismatch repair proficient (MMRp) tumors. The tumors with a higher mutational burden respond better to immunotherapy. MERFISH, a single-cell transcriptome-imaging method, allows exploration of the spatial relationships between different cell types within the tumor. Leveraging spatial transcriptomic data obtained from an ongoing clinical trial of MMRp CRC patients at MGH the goal is to understand the cell type composition and differential spatial features. Pinpointing different features between responders and non responders focusing on T cell phenotypes and immune hubs will better our understanding within tumor immunology and inform treatment strategies.

Through this Super UROP I hope to learn more about tumor immunology and further develop skills. Having spent most of my time at MIT in wet lab tumor immunology I am excited to explore the computational side and what sort of discoveries can come out of the interdisciplinary study of computational biology. Additionally I would like to improve my scientific writing, programming, and communication skills.