Irene Bonetti ’19
“Understanding the Role of Phosphorylation in Tumor-Suppressive Function of Gap Junctions”
Major/Minor: Biochemistry, pre-medicine
Hometown: Chieti, Italy
Project Advisor: Dr. Anastasia Thevenin
Describe your project.
The main purpose of the project was to gain an understanding of how phosphorylated gap junctions interact with a well-known oncogene called Src. Moreover, how this interaction happens on a molecular level and decreases the migratory activity of the cancerous cells.
How did your project come about?
This research has been carried out by Dr. Thevenin for many years.
What was the best part about working with your faculty mentor? What valuable insights did she bring to your project?
The best part was working one-on-one with my mentor while having hands-on experience in a true research project, an opportunity that can be rare in undergraduate studies.
What has been your biggest obstacle?
My biggest obstacles so far have been obtaining reproducible data from experiments due to the many different factors that could get in the way.
What has been your biggest takeaway from this experience?
This has provided an amazing insight on graduate school and a better understanding of the material studied so far in class.
What was the result of your project?
The project is not done, as we are continuing to work on it, but so far we’ve found a definitive interaction between Cx43 of gap junctions and Src.
Overall, how do you feel about being awarded this opportunity? Why should other students take advantage of the SOAR program at Moravian College?
Other students should definitely take advantage of this opportunity since my experience was so intense. I would do it all over again, as it has made me a better student.
Do you plan to expand upon your research?
Yes, I do. In fact, I am currently involved in an independent study with Dr. Thevenin with future plans for an honors project.