SBMS Trainee: Cody Kempen
Graduate Advisor: Dr. Pawan Kumar, PhD
Clinical Advisor: Dr. Paula Denoya, MD
Graduate Program: Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
I received my BS and MS in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. During my undergraduate years, I interned at the Suffolk County Department of Health: Arthropod Bourne Disease laboratory where I helped monitor the Long Island mosquito population for Zika virus, and West Nile Virus among other diseases. My master's research studied the mechanism by which the protein toxin ricin synergizes with the cytokines TNF, TRAIL and FasL to induce cell death in lung epithelial cells. Currently, I am a PhD candidate within the lab of Dr. Pawan Kumar. I am studying how interleukin(IL)-17 signaling affects Paneth cell function. While intestinal regulation via IL-17A has been extensively researched, there are still many gaps of knowledge. We look to expand this field by characterizing the significance of IL-17RA signaling specifically to Paneth cells under homeostatic conditions and after radiation induced gut injury. We are studying the mechanisms of IL-17A in maintaining microbial homeostasis through regulation of antimicrobial peptide packaging within Paneth cell granules.