University of California Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees (UC LEADS) Program 2017-2019
Mary, an undergraduate researcher and UC LEADS scholar, joined the Arias Lab in the summer of 2017. She is currently working to optimize methods for studying viral gene functions in mammalian cells latently infected with Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). The mutagenesis of the KSHV genome in cells is difficult, as the virus has a very large genome (140Kb dsDNA) and can be present in up to 100 copies per cell. To overcome this complication, Mary is helping to evaluate the use of CRISPRi to modulate KSHV gene expression in infected cells. Successful optimization of this method has the potential to facilitate further exploration of the functions of viral genes in the context of infection. Besides research, Mary enjoys trying new food, going to the local beaches, and hanging out with friends.
Mary optimized methods for studying viral gene functions, particularly with regard to KSHV, in latently infected mammalian cells through use of CRISPRi. She is now a clinical research coordinator at California Retina Consultants.