Nitika Gupta receives Summer Research Fellowship
July 17, 2017

Honors College junior Nitika Gupta was awarded a 2017 UROP CCTR Summer Research Fellowship. She is conducting research on periodontal disease at the VCU Philips Institute of Oral Health Research with her mentor, Dr. Sinem Esra Sahingur of VCU's School of Dentistry. The Division of Community Engagement (DCE) and the Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR) funds three undergraduate community-engaged research fellowship awards for research projects mentored by VCU faculty and carried out in collaboration with a community partner.

Nitika is researching the anti-inflammatory effects of A20 in toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling. The protein known as A20 is a cytokine-inducible anti-inflammatory protein that has the ability to inhibit the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR), TLR, and T-cell receptor activation of the NF- κB pathway as well as other pathways involving TNF receptor associated factor 6 (TRAF 6).

Toll-like receptors are a group of proteins that are part of the innate immune system that can sense the invasion of microorganisms through recognizing pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Ten different TLRs have been identified in the human body, three of which play a role in periodontal inflammation (TLR2, TLR4, and TLR9).

A Lorton native, Nitika is majoring in Biology with minors in Chemistry & General Business. VCU Honors congratulates her on this achievement!