Pharmacology Graduate Student Bena Chan Receives F31 Funding

June 11, 2024 by   |   Leave a Comment

Sze Ham ChanCongratulations to Bena Chan on receiving funding from an F31 fellowship from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for her grant proposal: “Mutual regulation between membrane rafts and protein condensates in T cell activation”.

Bena says that “T cells play a pivotal role in adaptive immunity, mediating critical defenses against infections and cancer. Effective immune responses rely on tightly regulated T cell activation, which integrates and transmits signals sensed at the plasma membrane. Despite decades of investigation, the intricate mechanisms governing this signal transduction remain incompletely understood.”

Recent findings from the Levental lab have suggested that membrane proximal T cell signaling involves physical and functional coupling between membrane domains and protein condensates. Her proposed project seeks to elucidate the mutual regulation between membrane rafts and protein condensates in T cell signaling. Specifically, she will investigate how the assembly of protein condensates influences membrane lipid organization and examine the impact of membrane lipid remodeling on the properties of these condensates. Furthermore, she will evaluate the downstream effects on T cell signaling following antigenic stimulation.

This fellowship award will enable her to study how protein condensates couple to membrane rafts to cooperatively regulate T cell signaling. By investigating such coupling mechanism, she aims to advance our understanding of spatiotemporal regulation of signal transduction in activating T cells.

Go Bena!!!



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