A 22-year-old Johns Hopkins University undergraduate from Taipei, Taiwan, is working to better understand the role that the proteins known as sodium hydrogen exchangers have in regulating salt concentration, trafficking and acid-base balance within cells.
The research, done under the auspices of the Johns Hopkins Provost's Undergraduate Awards, could eventually shed light on the root causes of various diseases and conditions.
Anthony Chyou's research project was one of more than 40 this year funded through PURA, which annually provides undergraduate students with up to $3,000 to conduct original research investigations. Since 1993, about 40 students each year have received PURA grants; results from some projects have been published in professional journals. Funded through donations from the Hodson Trust, these awards are an important part of the university's commitment to undergraduate research.
A molecular and cell biology major in the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Science, Chyou presented his research findings at an awards ceremony which was held at Johns Hopkins on March 16.
"My research is important because many diseases result from trafficking or pH defects and affect all parts of the human body," Chyou said. "For example, Batten disease affects neuronal cells, and cardiac tissue can be damaged during recovery from ischemia."
Chyou conducted his research under the guidance of faculty mentor Rajini Rao, a professor in the Department of Physiology in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
"Anthony is a bright, hardworking and sincere student who exemplifies the best of Hopkins undergraduates," Rao said. "He is quick to learn techniques at the bench, and to grasp concepts from our discussions. He has shown admirable initiative in putting together this proposal."
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