Undergraduate Research Program

Deepthi Sathyanarayana

Deepthi Sathyanarayana smiling in front of bricksMajor: Biology (Physiology)
Mentor: Dr.Daniel Dürschmied, Department of Cardiology

Contact: deepts@uw.edu

Current research project: Role of Platelet Serotonin in Metabolic Syndrome

 

Deepthi is a sophomore hoping to be in the department of Public Health at the University of Washington. Having gained research experience in the Nemhauser Lab at the UW working with the dynamics of signaling networks and integration of info in arabidopsis she switched over from botany to medicine and is now working on finding a connection between platelet serotonin and metabolic syndrome in hopes of finding a cure for Type II Diabetes.

Translate your work so that we can all understand its importance
Platelets are small fragments (have no nucleus) that are found in blood cells, they are used to help your body form clots to stop bleeding. Serotonin is often referred to as the “happy hormone”. Platelets release serotonin when they bind to a clot. There has been a link found between brown adipose tissue and an enzyme called tryptophanhydroxylase 1 (TPH 1) which produces serotonin. We are working to inhibit serotonin signaling or its synthesis in adipose tissue to make effective treatments for conditions that surround metabolic syndrome.

 

When, how, and why did you get involved in undergraduate research?
I got involved with research during the winter quarter of my first year at the UW. I attended a networking event put on by the biology department, to my surprise I was the only freshman there. I was able to connect with some of the professors and they offered me a position in their lab. I got involved with undergraduate research to be able to apply my learning in a lab setting as well as be able to do some basic lab work.

 

What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research?
Don’t be afraid to try it out! I was nervous to try it because I had assumed that I needed to know lab techniques beforehand, but when I asked, the professors told me that I would learn it all in the lab!