Alumni Profiles - Kira Young
Hometown: Dedham, Maine
Undergrad: Chemical Engineering, UMaine
GSBS Concentration: Functional Genomics, Maine Medical Center Research Institute
Adviser: Calvin Vary, Maine Medical Center Research Institute
Research: Young is trying to understand how endoglin, a receptor associated with transmembrane protein, regulates the process of angiogenesis and the occurrence of vascular pathology. In humans, mutations in the genes encoding endoglin can cause the vascular disease hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). Young wants to figure out endoglin’s role in the disease so a treatment can be found.
In her words: “Understanding the details of endoglin’s function will lead to mechanistic insights into the processes of cell adhesion, migration and invasion, and will advance our understanding of a variety of complex biological processes, including vascular development, vascular disease and cancer progression.”