Office of Undergraduate Research Undergraduate research will set you apart.

Recently in Research: Kasey Shepp


Kasey, a senior studying biomedical sciences, began her undergraduate research involvement fall of her junior year. Her Undergraduate Research Fellowship project is being conducted under the guidance of Dr. Nancy Merner in the Harrison School of Pharmacy. Kasey is studying certain receptors called hydroxycarboxylic acid receptors. “My focus is looking at any potential genetic variance [the receptors] may have. Such mutations may connect them with hereditary breast cancer,” Kasey said.

Kasey began her project by designing primers to target certain genes within a DNA sample. She then used Polymerase Chain Reactions (PCR) to amplify those genes. Kasey is currently analyzing the results from DNA sequencing. She wants to determine the rarity of the genetic variance and if the variance are damaging or benign.
“My lab is focused on finding new breast cancer susceptibility genes. Specifically, those present in African-Americans,” Kasey said. “[African-Americans] have a higher chance of receiving a more detrimental case and no one exactly knows why. So, we’re trying to find genetic factors that may influence that. Through this, we are able to provide genetic screening for women who might not have had that opportunity.”

Last modified: November 27, 2017