Preksha Bhagchandani

Preksha  Bhagchandani
MIT Microbiome Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: Hidde Ploegh
Department: Biological Engineering
Years: 2016-2017

Investigating the identity of the bacterial epitope responsible for CD4IEL induction

Intraepithelial lymphocytes (CD4IEL) play a role in protection of the gut. Although little is known about the signals required for differentiation of CD4IELs it is well established that their development depends on the presence of the microbiota. My project will focus on expanding a previous model by finding the epitope that allows CD4IEL induction. This will be accomplished by identifying growth conditions in which the antigen is not expressed and RNA sequences that are differentially expressed. These sequences will be tested with an in vitro proliferation assay. This expanded model system will allow us to answer outstanding questions in the field regarding the environment and commensals required for CD4IEL development.

I am a course 20 junior and hope to pursue a career in medical research in the future. My experiences in UROP for the past 2 years passion for research in biology and experience in research communication from 20.109 have prepared me for this project. I hope to learn how to better communicate my research ideas in multiple formats and am excited to start a more independent project.