FURI | Spring 2021

Development of a Genome Engineering Approach for the Modulation of Vascular Phenotypes

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Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of death for cardiovascular diseases and the phenotypic switch of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) mediated by the upregulation of KLF4 contributes to the progression of atherosclerotic lesions or plaque development. The objective of this study is to suppress KLF4 expression in VSMCs via a CRISPR interference mediated mechanism and consequently inhibit VSMC proliferation. The sgRNA sequences targeting KLF4 have been designed and synthesized, and the construction of the recombinant viral vector is in progress. Future work includes transfecting the construct with the packaging plasmid to produce viral particles and validate efficiency in mouse cells.

Student researcher

Michelle Mungaray

Michelle M. Mungaray

Biomedical engineering

Hometown: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Fall 2022