In the laboratory, TL 1 trainee Katie Podshivalova investigates the role of microRNAs in the regulation of the immune system’s activation and subsequent differentiation of the CD4 T cells that lead the body’s immune response against pathogens.
In the clinic, Podshivalova participates in clinical rotations in immunology at Scripps Health. Observing the diagnosis and treatment of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis and interacting with clinicians enriches her perspective as a bench researcher dedicated to translational science.
In turn, she has spoken about the role of microRNAs in immunity and autoimmunity at Scripps Rheumatology Clinical Conferences.
Intrigued by the overlap of RNA biology and immunology, Podshivalova hopes to define how microRNAs influence the post-transcriptional regulation of CD4 T cell activation. She hopes that her findings will reveal novel regulatory elements important to the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune disease, immune deficiency as well as kidney transplant rejection.
Prior to her graduate studies at TSRI, Podshivalova earned the B.S. degree in microbiology at the University of California, Santa Barbara and completed a two month research internship followed by a stint as a laboratory technician in TSRI’s Department of Immunology. In 2007-08, she was awarded TSRI’s Dean’s Fellowship. She is currently organizing the Biology Distinguished Lecturer Series sponsored by TSRI’s Kellogg School of Science and Technology.