SBMS Trainee: Arshia Arasappan
Graduate Program: Dr. Charles Vorkas
Clinical Advisor: Dr. Luis Marcos
Title: Comparing MR1 Expression Across Immune Subsets Using Diverse Microbial Ligands
I am a third-year PhD student in the Microbiology and Immunology program at Stony Brook University. I completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology at The College of New Jersey, where I conducted research on the genetics behind polyhydroxyalkanoate production by Pseudomonas putida. My current work in the Vorkas lab focuses on studying MR1 ligands within diverse bacteria including Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Borrelia burgdorferi, and the host immune response to these ligands. For my SBMS project, I will be studying the immune subsets of patients presenting with tick-borne diseases, particularly in the context of MR1 upregulation and mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cell activation.