Honors junior wins IUPUI research award

Honors junior Sangini Tolia, a Nutrition and Food Science Major, received her first poster presentation award during the Regenerative Biology Conference at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis the weekend of September 16-17.

Tolia’s poster on the Characterization of miR-133 during zebrafish photoreceptor development, maintenance, and regeneration was recognized as one of the top three posters of the conference, which featured more than 30 posters from students across the Midwest region.

The research focuses on the effects retinal regeneration in zebrafish using MicroRNA Tolia explained. “The study is aimed at determining the function of miR-133 during photoreceptor development, maintenance, and regeneration in zebrafish,” she added. MicroRNA’s are small RNA molecules that lower gene expression by binding to target sequences in the three prime untranslated region of certain MicroRNA’s. While they are predicted to be involved in gene expression, the role they play in tissue regeneration has never been thoroughly studied.     

For Tolia, this was her first time presenting a poster at any conference. “I never expected win an award,” she added.

In addition to her zebrafish research, she is also conducting research on the impact of intra-family care in children’s fMRI responses to emotional stimuli. She explained that participants rated their mother and father on how caring they were before them images of positive, negative, or neutral faces.

She is hoping to present either one of her posters at Wayne State’s UROP conference in November.    

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