I joined the Zamora lab in October 2020 while completing my master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. My MS thesis is focused on the role of regulatory T (Treg) cells in the humoral immune response to the causative agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi. In this research I utilized the ‘depletion of regulatory T cell,’ or DEREG, mouse model which allows for the selective depletion of Treg cells via a low dose administration of diphtheria toxin. Using this model, I depleted Treg cells and assessed the effect on disease progression after infection with B. burgdorferi via pathological and antibody titer analysis. In the Zamora lab, I’ve been involved in helping spearhead novel studies aimed at developing cell-based therapies for cancer and in establishing single cell-based workflows on a recently acquired Berkeley Lights Lightning Platform. Recently, I’ve been working on a CAR-T cell project focused on discovering the underlying mechanisms that determine CAR-T cell persistence and antitumor capabilities. The goal of these studies is to improve the clinical efficacy of CAR-T cell therapies in patients with B-cell malignancies. I am also involved in ongoing studies testing whether recurrent cancer mutations serve as immunogenic targets for T cells and determining whether off-the-shelf T cell receptor (TCR)-T cell therapies can be engineered to target these mutations with greater specificity.