Obtained a B.S. in Biochemistry from St. Mary’s College of California. Then received an M.S. in Chemistry from The University of California, Fresno with Dr. Santanu Maitra. There my research was focues on developing new drug for Alzeimer’s Disease. Currently, working on a Ph.D. in Chemistry for Dr. Cory Berkland in the University of Kansas Pharmaceutical Chemistry department. Current my research focuses on the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of autoimmune disease. My final goal, is to obtain a research position at a Biotech or Pharmaceutical company.
Autoimmune diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, Neuromyelitis Optica, and Lupus implicate autoreactive B cells and auto-antibodies, which induce host tissue damage. Our Mimotope-drug conjugate are designed to deliver small molecule immunotherapeutics to high-affinity autoreactive B cell receptors and to auto-antibodies to subsequently shape downstream immune responses (e.g. CD4+ T cells), thereby selectively inhibiting inflammatory processes and/or inducing tolerance to autoantigen. Our novel chemical probes and therapeutics induce antigen-specific immune tolerance in the mouse model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) which is a validated models for multiple sclerosis. A mimotope is a synthetic peptide that mimics a peptide antigen epitope, but that skews the immune response (i.e. towards immune tolerance). Multiple studies have indicated that co-administration of mimotopes with an immunosuppressant will induce antigen-specific immune tolerance. By conjugating drugs to our mimotope it may induce immune tolerance and reverse autoimmune diseases that are caused by autoreactive B cell and auto-antibodies. Our mimotope-drug conjugates have shown promising result regulatory immune response.