Hymlaire Lamisere


Hymlaire Lamisere
BS, Biology
University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth
Dartmouth, MA
PhD Student in Immunology - MERGE-INF
Honorine Ward, MD, Adviser




Cryptosporidium infection causes self-limiting gastroenteritis in young children and immunocompromised hosts, affecting millions worldwide. It is our goal to identify potential drug targets and therapeutics to reduce the burden of this disease as there are no current vaccines or effective treatments for those who are at risk of infection. One route to novel therapeutics is targeting how Cryptosporidium evades detection by the immune system. My project explores one of these evasion mechanisms in which the parasites delay death of the infected cells while inducing the non-infected surrounding cells to undergo a non-inflammatory mode of cell death called apoptosis. I will study this using an ex-vivo model of isolated human intestinal epithelial stem cells (enteroids). This model recapitulates the intestinal crypt with cells that differentiate into the four types of epithelial cells found there. I will identify the key proteins for this mechanism and test their importance using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing. Interfering with this mechanism may be a route to therapy by decreasing disease burden and increasing immune response to the infected cell.

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February 15: Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences

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