Wednesday, May 24, 2017

URSP Student Luc Tran Researches the Role of Toxic Metabolite from Acetaminophen and NAPQI on Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

My name is Luc Tran and I am currently a senior within the Biology and Neuroscience Departments of George Mason University. My current OSCAR project is focused on the role of a toxic metabolite from acetaminophen, NAPQI, on the progression of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). IPF is a fatal lung disease that is associated with scarring of the lung tissue over time and increased secretion of collagen. My current project stemmed from my previous research regarding the role of oxidative phosphorylation on apoptosis of the IPF fibroblasts. I completed my previous project as a member of the Biology Research Semester in Dr. Geraldine Grant’s lab. Prior to the beginning of the Research Semester, I had to choose from three different labs to join. I chose Dr. Grant’s lab as my primary choice because her research directly dealt with a medical issue which best correlated with my future goal of medical school. By the end of this project, I could warn my future patients about the risks of acetaminophen and how it may contribute to the progression of IPF. I can also use my findings to help identify potential therapeutics to cure IPF.

From the Research Semester project to my OSCAR project, I have worked most closely with Sarah Bui, who is currently a PhD student within Dr. Grant’s lab. Sarah has always been there to guide me through my research. It is through her patient guidance and detailed directions that I have learned so much about the lab techniques and article readings. On a weekly basis, I have collected RNA from the fibroblasts and synthesized cDNA. Next, I performed quantitative PCRs to determine the effect of NAPQI on the expression level of certain IPF markers. I would like to thank Dr. Grant and Sarah for giving me this opportunity to improve my laboratory techniques, continue my IPF research, and expand my horizon in the fields of IPF and biochemical research. I hope to have the opportunity to continue my research in the summer.