The Sci-Files – 3/31/2019 – Kathryn Wierenga – Silica and Lupus

Chelsie Boodoo and Daniel Puentes

This week on The Sci-Files, Daniel and Chelsie interview Kathryn Wierenga. Kathryn is a doctoral student in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department at Michigan State University. Her research focuses on an autoimmune disease known as lupus erythematosus.

Autoimmune diseases affect over 25 million Americans. Her lab is studying how the development of lupus is affected by two environmental factors: silica, and the dietary omega-3 fatty acid (DHA). Kathryn’s laboratory uses a lupus-prone mutated mouse model. She observes how intranasal exposure to silica triggers early loss of self-tolerance and onset of autoimmunity.

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