Alumni News

Rowe Alumni Spotlight: Sarah Ollayos

UConn Year of Graduation (Undergraduate): 2017
Undergraduate Major(s): Nutritional Science
Currently Employed By: Yale New Haven Hospital, Dietetic Intern
Updates: I am currently spending one year working as a dietetic intern at Yale New Haven Hospital. Upon graduation from this program I will be able to take my Registered Dietitian Exam to become an RD. I am taking classes at YNHH and participating directly in patient care. Some of the services I have been on include, Oncology, Surgery, MICU, and Renal. I also had the opportunity to write policies and procedures for the first centralized breast milk fortification room in New England that just opened at YNHH.

Rowe Alumni Spotlight: Athena Tao

UConn Year of Graduation (Undergraduate): 2014
Undergraduate Major(s): Pharmacy
Currently Employed By: Kaiser Permanente, Pharmacist
Updates: After graduating with a PharmD in 2016, I moved to Seattle for a new start and new opportunities! Currently, I spend half of my time working as a mail-order pharmacist at Kaiser Permanente of Washington and half of my time as a freelance illustrator.

Rowe Alumni Spotlight: Rishi Kothari

UConn Year of Graduation (Undergraduate): 2009
Undergraduate Major(s): Computer Science
Currently Employed By: University of California San Francisco, Liver transplant anesthesiology fellow
Updates: Moved to San Francisco to pursue liver transplant anesthesiology and dip my feet in to Silicon Valley, maybe come away with a consulting position or connections to the startup world in med tech!

Rowe Researcher: The Effects of Cranberry Consumption on Lipid and Lipoprotein Metabolism

The Effects of Cranberry Consumption on Lipid and Lipoprotein Metabolism in Human Apolipoprotein A-I Transgenic Mice Fed a High Fat and High Cholesterol Diet

May 2017

Investigators: Christian Caceres, Dr. Ji-Young Lee, Dr. Young-Ki Park

The development of pathological conditions including cardiovascular disease are well documented to manifest from an obese state due to high lipid burden at adipose tissue and consequent low-grade inflammation. We hypothesized that anthocyanin-rich whole cranberry powder would prevent inflammation while simultaneously modifying high- density lipoprotein (HDL) metabolism to confer cardioprotection in C57BL/6J mice expressing human apolipoprotein A-I transgene (hApoAITg). Male hApoAITg C57BL/6J mice were fed a modified AIN-93M high fat/high cholesterol diet (HF/HC; 15% fat, 0.25% cholesterol by weight) with only the treatment group receiving 5% whole cranberry powder by weight for 8 weeks. Our results suggest that CR supplementation decreases obesity-induced inflammation in adipose tissue at least in part, by modulating energy metabolism in skeletal muscle. However, additional investigations are required to conclusively determine the effect of cranberry consumption on serum lipids and HDL metabolism.

Rowe Researcher: Tyrosine Phosphorylation of the Bacterial Stress Factor BipA

Akua Owusu at Frontiers in Undergraduate Research

Tyrosine Phosphorylation of the Bacterial Stress Factor BipA aids in Adaptation and Pathogenicity

Summer 2016

Investigators: Akua Owusu and Jui Chaugule

Faculty Advisors: Dr Victoria Robinson and Dr David Benson

BipA is a multi-domain prokaryotic GTPase universally conserved in pathogenic bacteria.  It regulates a number of virulence events including pedestal formation, flagella mediated motility and expression of virulence genes. Most importantly, BipA null mutants are avirulent, suggesting it is a prime target for antimicrobial development.  Central to the function of BipA are its GTPase activity and its association with the ribosome. An examination of the ribosome binding properties of the protein revealed that BipA has two ribosome binding modes. Under normal growth conditions, GTP-bound BipA associates with 70S ribosomes. However, under conditions of stress, ppGpp-bound BipA associates with 30S ribosomes. A study by the O’Connor group at the University of Southampton (UK) demonstrated that BipA undergoes phosphorylation on one of its tyrosine residues and perhaps this modification may play a role in its ability to regulate virulence processes. Therefore, the purpose of my project was to identify the tyrosine phosphorylation sites in EHEC BipA and then determine how this modification affects its biochemical properties particularly its GTPase activity.

Rowe Alumni Spotlight: John Zyzo

Dr. John Zyzo

UConn Year of Graduation (Undergraduate): 2012
Undergraduate Major(s): Molecular and Cell Biology
Currently Employed By: Waterbury Smiles and Old Greenwich Dental Associates, Licensed General Dentist
Updates: Recently graduated from Danbury Hospital GPR and currently practicing comprehensive general dentistry in Waterbury and Greenwich, CT.

Rowe Alumni Spotlight: Mallory Perry

UConn Year of Graduation (Undergraduate): 2014
Undergraduate Major(s): Nursing
Currently Employed By: CT Children’s Medical Center, Clinical Nurse III
Updates: I’ve recently passed a certification exam, earning the title of Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN). Also, as of June 2017 I have passed my qualifying exams for the PhD program, earning a Master of Science in Nursing along the way.