Undergraduate Research Program

Meelad Karami

Major: Microbiology
Mentor: Dr. Jason G. Smith


Current research project: Uncovering Determinants of Adenovirus Tissue Tropism


Meelad is a graduating senior studying Microbiology at the University of Washington. After working in bioengineering and a food microbiology lab his freshman year, he found an experience working in a virology lab at the Smith Lab within UW Medicine. He is currently engineering a chimeric mouse adenovirus with the aim of infecting intestinal stem cells. After graduation, Meelad plans to gain more clinical experience and apply to medical school.


Translate your work so that we can all understand its importance
Human adenoviruses infect and cause disease in multiple organ systems, and certain human AdV serotypes are associated with particular diseases. Because of this association, we believe there is a link between serotype and tissue tropism (which tissue a virus infects). Using mouse adenovirus combined with genetic engineering techniques, I am looking to see if a protein called fiber plays a central role in determining tissue tropism.



When, how, and why did you get involved in undergraduate research?
I got involved in undergraduate research my Sophomore year. After having some experiences within the life sciences, I decided I wanted to work with infectious pathogens. I reached out to a few professors within UW Medicine and got interviews a few days later which resulted in my current place of research.


What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research?
Honestly, there’s a going to be a lot of rejection along the way. However, there are so many people and resources that will help you along the way. Many of these people want to see you succeed, so keep in close contact with them and reach out! Stay encouraged!!