I am an undergraduate research assistant for the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta. Although we've been doing research here for many years, it's only really started growing substantially in the past 5-6 years. I am investigating the effects that dietary vitamin A have on the production of Th17 cells in the lamina propria of mice. High levels of IL-17, produced by Th17 cells, has been linked to inflammatory bowel diseases, as well as several other autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases. Vitamin A has a key regulatory role in the differentiation of Th17 cells, favoring the production of Treg cells instead. Our hope with this research is that we will find that mice fed on a vitamin A-free diet will show a decreased production of IL-17 (as measured by ELISA) than mice fed on regular diets.
Thanks for taking the time to get to know me and my research,