The Sci-Files – 5/19/2019 – Faryal and Kate – Mentoring and MRI Protein Engineering

On this week’s The Sci-Files, your hosts Chelsie and Danny interview Faryal Mir and Kate Hammond from the Department of Radiology in order to understand their research on engineering Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) proteins as well as the mentorship that occurs in the labs here at MSU.

Faryal is associated with the Department of Genetics and the College of Osteopathic Medicine, pursuing a DO-PhD. Kate is a recent graduate of MSU and will be attending the College of Osteopathic Medicine in the fall. They work closely together in the Molecular and Cellular Imaging Laboratory (MCIL) with advisor Dr. Erik Shapiro.

Faryal’s work focuses on protein engineering in the context of MRI. She is very interested in exploring the liver transport protein, OATP (organic anion transporting polypeptide). She even published a paper involving OATPs. In this paper, the Shapiro lab demonstrated that a mouse with human OATPs mimic the human protein thereby making it easier for MRIs to capture an image of the animal’s muscles and organs. Overall, by using human OATPs, screening animals is easier because the MRI shows greater contrast.

Kate has been involved in many different projects, from investigating proteins with Faryal to running CT-based experiments and performing tissue cultures. She has been with the MCIL as an undergrad for three years and hopes to remain involved in research throughout her medical studies and career.

Kate and Faryal both believe strongly in the value of mentor-mentee relationships, and feel that such a relationship benefits both people involved!

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