Hello, my name is Katrin and I am an MPhil student in the Rosenfeld lab. I recently joined the lab and my project is yet to be finalized. I am looking forward to a great year here with an amazing group of people with incredible knowledge and experience. Ideally, I would like to continue my work within the group as a PhD student next year.
Before joining the Rosenfeld lab, I studied Biology at Villanova University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There, I conducted research on gene regulation in zebrafish. I was particularly interested in the co-regulator Brd2a and the genes it regulates in 48 hour zebrafish embryos. Brd2a binds to acetylated histones within activated chromatin and helps recruit additional enzymes to further activate or silence downstream target genes. In vertebrates, Brd2 was shown to be involved in mitosis and apoptosis regulation; in Drosophila it regulates homebox genes. Using Chromatin Immuno-precipitaion, followed by PCR, I aimed to show the interaction of Brd2a with the homeobox transcription-factor engrailed2a in zebrafish. This interaction was previously observed in Drosophila and I hoped to see if this function was conserved through the evolution from invertebrates to vertebrates.
My interest in cancer research started in 2012 when I worked for Miltenyi Biotech GmbH in Germany. There, I was part of a government funded project that looked at using patient specific mutated mRNA to develop a personalized treatment of malignant melanoma patients. We aimed to isolate patient exosomal mRNA, screen it for mutations, and transfer it into dendritic cells. The dendritic cells would then present the mutations as antigen peptides and could be used as tumour specific therapy.
In my free time I enjoy watching movies and catching up with my friends around the world. One of my biggest hobbies for the past years has been swimming. During my time in America I was part of the University’s varsity swim team and won two College Championships with my team. My love for the water also made me join the Cambridge University swim team and I am looking forward to the yearly Varsity meet against Oxford.
I am originally from Cologne, Germany. Cologne is definitely worth a visit, and I am not just saying that because I am from there. If you should ever be around Cologne during mid-February, I highly recommend joining the people of Cologne for the annual celebration of carnival. The weeklong festivities include parades, parties, lots of costumed people, and tons of candy being thrown at you. It is a very unique experience and lots of fun!