Eghosa Edogun wins Koret scholarship

Eghosa EdogunEghosa Edogun, Oakes class of 2018, was awarded a Koret undergraduate research scholarship. Learn more about Eghosa and Eghosa's research here.

- What is your name, year, major, college?
My name is Eghosa Edogun, I am a 4th year, Molecular, cell and Developmental Biology major, and an Oakes affiliate.

- Why did you choose your major and your college?

I chose MCD Biology because I have always been interested in how the world works at the molecular level. The reason why I chose Oakes college is due to the fact that it is the most like home to me. Coming from Hayward, California I really wanted to be around a community of diverse people and ideas, not just because this is what I am used to, but because I know its how I learn best. 

- What are your career goals?

 My career goal is to obtain my MD with a focus in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. When I obtain my MD, I ultimately would like to practice in the Bay Area and potentially open my own clinic.

 - What is your research project?

My project serves to better understand the nuisances of splicesome assembly by focusing on the function of the DEAD box helicase protein, PRP5.  PRP5 is currently implicated in the stabilization and recruitment of the U2 ribonucleoprotein (RNP) onto the branchpoint of pre-mRNA by causing a conformational rearrangement in U2 snRNA. My research in the Manuel Ares lab will furthermore assist in our understanding of PRP5’s role in pre-splicesome assembly by inducing variable expression of the PRP5 protein. I plan on doing this by using a SMASh tag (small molecule assisted shut-off) technique, which will allow me to regulate amounts of PRP5 with the use of a drug. This method of tunable protein expression will allow us to monitor how Yeast cells react to decreasing amounts of the protein, in vivo. By doing so we hypothesize that Yeast will conditionally splice introns in the cell, hopefully giving us a more in depth view of its range of function. 

- Why did you choose that topic?

I chose this topic because a variety of human diseases are caused by mistakes in the splicing machinery and/or its various associated proteins. By gaining a better understanding of splicing in Yeast, we will be able to gain a better knowledge about how splicing works in mammals. What makes this topic especially interesting for me is that there is much more knowledge that is to be gained about splicing, and it’s an amazing privilege to be able to learn a fraction of its complexities.

- Who are you working with?

I work with a team of undergraduate students, graduate students and professionals in Manuel Ares’ lab. Our team has helped me tremendously in conducting my research and making me feel comfortable in the lab environment. My mentor, Manuel Ares, has been very helpful in my efforts in the lab and has been a pivotal resource for my understanding of RNA research and becoming a more effective researcher. Dr. Ares is a great mentor and a brilliant scientist, and I thank him for allowing me the opportunity to do research in his lab.

- What advice do you have for other students interested in doing research?

My advice for anyone interested in research is that you will never know if you are truly interested in it until you do it. Doing research has been an efficient way for me to learn outside of the classroom and an even better way to push myself academically. It has allowed me to network more with my peers, and most importantly to meet and build relationships with the faculty that we have at UCSC.