Week 1: Introduction

Feb 18, 2019

Hello and welcome to my Senior Project Blog! My project is titled “Two-Pronged Approach to Heart Disorders.”

For my senior project, I will be studying dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in the Mercola Lab at Stanford. Dilated cardiomyopathy causes the heart’s pumping chambers to become baggy, resulting in reduced efficiency and a variety of symptoms ranging from fatigue to end-stage heart failure. My external advisor and I are focusing on discovering more treatments for a genetic form of DCM, in which a critical splicing protein called RBM20 is mutated and cannot function properly. 

Splicing proteins play a role in controlling the transfer of information from the cell’s DNA to the cell’s protein-making machinery. Thus, when RBM20 is mutated, it affects the production of multiple proteins in the cell and has a more detrimental effect than a mutation in a single protein. Through our research, we hope to design an experimental protocol that can be used to understand the intricacies of RBM20-DCM and to find effective treatments for it.

As you may have already realized, my first prong in addressing heart disorders is molecular research, which I’m excited to pursue in the lab. The second is increasing heart health awareness around the globe, specifically in developing countries. For this, I want to start a video series that contains information about cardiac disorders, like heart-healthy diets, an overview of various heart disorders, etc. I plan to post these short 1-2 minute videos on Youtube, WhatsApp, and WeChat.

2 Replies to “Week 1: Introduction”

  1. Ivana B says:

    Arjun, can you share the details of the protein mutation in your next post (i.e. Leu-49 is substituted by Val or something liek that)? I am only asking so I can talk about it in my Intro to Organic and Biochemistry class. 🙂
    On a different note – Dennis demonstrated in his blog that you can link youtube videos to your blog posts. I am looking forward to watching them on this page.

  2. Sahithi P. says:

    Your project sounds so interesting! Maybe pictures and diagrams of your molecular experiments would help make the process a little more clear. I am looking forward to seeing your next blog posts and how you approach the difficulties of working with cells.

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