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CHORI Graduate Student Researcher Receives Emory University STEM Research Symposium Award

April, 2013 – CHORI is pleased to announce that Elvin Lauron, PhD, currently a graduate student at the San Francisco State University, and a former member of the team of CHORI’s Associate Scientist Laura Hertel, PhD, was selected to give an oral presentation at the first annual Emory University STEM Research and Career Symposium, held on April 3-5, 2013. The symposium showcased the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) research of over 200 undergraduate and graduate students in poster form, but only eight were selected for individual oral presentations based on the scientific impact of their research.

“Elvin is an absolutely spectacular scientist who really knows his stuff,” says Dr. Hertel, who first hired Elvin to work as a technician in her lab before encouraging him to seek a Master’s degree at SFSU.

“Elvin is an absolutely spectacular scientist who really knows his stuff.”



The research Elvin presented at the Emory symposium was based on his work in Dr. Hertel's lab on human cytomegalovirus (CMV) transmission. The presentation focused on differences in the susceptibility to infection of Langerhans-type dendritic cells (LC), which constitute the first line of defense against CMV in the oral and nasal cavities.

"We had shown in the past that immature LC are remarkably resistant to CMV, and that this resistance is lost when these cells mature" says Dr. Hertel. "Our research built on this by looking at the progress of CMV virus in both immature and mature LC, with the intent of determining the source of this cellular resistance."

The research showed that transcription of the viral immediate-early genes 1 and 2, whose expression is absolutely required for productive infection to proceed, is extremely reduced in immature LC.

"The data suggest that the ability of immature LC to resist CMV infection may be due to the presence of host defense factors that repress the expression of these proteins," says Dr. Hertel.

In addition to the honor of being selected to give an oral presentation, Elvin also received an award for second best oral presentation of the symposium.

“When Elvin was in my lab he was completely on top of everything and incredibly dedicated to research,” says Dr. Hertel. “Elvin has a very promising future, and I feel very privileged to have been a part of it.”

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013 9:11 AM

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