Western Nevada College undergrads leading research on the Fallon campus | NevadaAppeal.com

Western Nevada College undergrads leading research on the Fallon campus

Staff report
From left, Clifton Bullock, McKayla Prentice-White, Catherine Goodrick, professor Holly O’Toole, Yaowei Deng, Kathryn Bradley and Dr. Gary Evett.

Dr. Gary Evett and professor Holly O’Toole are leading an INBRE Summer Undergraduate Research program on the WNC Fallon Campus.

The student researchers are studying cyclooxygenase-1 (Cox-1) and how it is involved with inflammation in the human body. Currently, inflammatory drugs have multiple side effects, and safer drugs need to be discovered for arthritis, diabetes, etc. Further understanding of Cox-1 will be key to this.

It has been discovered that the Cox-1 gene codes for more than one protein. Recently, new ways to regulate the expression of these new protein forms have been discovered. This summer, the researchers are studying the regulation and expression of these variants in human myeloid leukemia cells and in blood samples from rheumatoid arthritis patients.

When McKayla Prentice-White first heard about the INBRE research project, she had no idea what an eye opening experience it was going to be.

“Every day we would talk about a new technique and use a new machine. It was cool to work along side such great people and be a part of such profound research,” she said.

She did not realize how much she was learning until she had to explain to someone else and did not have too much of a problem doing so. Prentice-White said she is thankful to have had this opportunity and cannot wait to put all the knowledge she acquired to the test at UNR.

Cliff Bullock said he found the research very informative and would definitely do it again.

Catherine Goodrick enjoyed the opportunity to “do the science most people only read about.”