2007 Participants
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Reema Patel and Mai Lan
Working with Dr. Guo-Zhang Zhu

View Reema and Mai's webpage here: http://mupfc.marshall.edu/~patel12

My name is Reema Patel and I am a senior Biomedical Sciences major at Marshall University. I am working on a project in which we are trying to determine the role of PIWIL4 in human pancreatic cancer. I am working with a fellow classmate, Mia Lan Pham, who is also a recipient of the SURE grant. PIWILs are the first class of genes known to be required for stem cell self-renewal in diverse organisms, including humans. Recent studies have demonstrated the over expression of two PIWIL genes, HiWi and PIWIL2, in some types of human cancer. Research on PIWILs will further our understanding of stem cell biology and potentially lead to the application of new cancer biomarkers. In a previous study, we found that PIWIL4 is expressed in 4 types of human cancer cells, including pancreatic cancer cells PANC-1. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death, representing a significant healthcare concern. To carry out our research, the mRNA and protein levels of PIWIL4 in 4 different pancreatic cancer cell lines will be examined by the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay and Western blot assay, respectively. Second, the down expression of PWIL4 in pancreatic cancer cells will be achieved by the RNA interference (RNAi) technique. Information obtained from this study will further our understanding of the pathological process of pancreatic cancer, and potentially contribute to new approaches of diagnosis and treatment for this deadly disease. Investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying the incidence and progression of pancreatic cancer will likely contribute to the early stage diagnosis and new treatments for this deadly disease.