Anusha Imran '22
Major: Natural Science
Bio: Anusha Imran is a current junior pursuing a Natural Science degree with a minor in Business Administration at Fordham College Lincoln Center. Her passion for medicine and targeting healthcare disparities led her to conduct academic research at campus to continue her love for the sciences. She hopes to pursue medical school after graduation and specialize in a surgical subspecialty.
Title of Research: Identification of Differences Between Hemocyanin and Altered Gene Expression in Healthy and Brown Shell Diseased Lobsters
Mentor: Dr. Grace Vernon
Abstract: Homarus americanus have an innate immune system that involves various enzymes including superoxide dismutase (SODs) which facilitates the neutralization of potentially harmful cellular molecules. There are several types of SODs, but we are particularly interested in SOD 1 and SOD 2 that are found in the hemocytes. The relationship between these enzymes and the hemocyanin is responsible for oxygen transport because hemocyanin is a respiratory hemolymph protein. Its synthesis is concentrated in the hepatopancreas of lobsters. This research project explores the relation between hemocyanin and superoxide dismutase (SODs) in the American lobster hemocytes as well as the differences in gene expression in brown shell diseased and non-diseased lobsters. Investigating the innate immune system of lobsters will portray the severity of the disease at different molt stages. With the use of confocal and scanning electron microscopy, I will investigate the relative locations of the hemocyanin and the SODs in relation to the cytoplasm and/or the external cell plasma membrane. Additionally, we are using the technique of suppressive subtractive hybridization (SSH) to study the expression of arginine kinase (AK) in symptomatic and healthy lobsters. Since this phosphagen enzyme plays a pivotal role in cellular respiration, its relationship with hemocyanin and SODs can provide us with information on the influence of the diseased state on molt cycles in the lobster.