Hello! My name is Sydney Verdugo, and I am recent graduate from the University of Arizona. This past May I obtained my Bachelors of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology with an emphasis in Genetics and Human Health along with Honors. Starting in Fall 2021, I have worked in Dr. Justin Wilson’s lab where we study how the interactions between microbes, epithelial cells, and the immune system leads to inflammatory responses in the intestine. These factors are linked to several intestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer. Through this research we are hoping to obtain a better understanding of these relationships, which may lead to new treatments for these chronic conditions.
My honors undergraduate project focused on this from the point of view of intestinal epithelial cells. More specifically, I generated intestinal epithelial organoid cultures and tested their response to different inflammatory signals such as microbial structures and factors released from our cells during both death and activation. Although I’ve been continuing this work over the summer in the Wilson lab, this Fall I will be returning to UA to join the Arizona Biological and Biomedical Sciences Doctoral Program! When I’m not in the lab I love to play piano and guitar, read, or look for new artists to listen to.