Cindy Puente @ Berkeley

Name: Cindy Puente

Field of study:
Molecular and Cell Biology

Host institution:
University of California at Berkeley

Dr. Ping Hu and Dr. Robert Tjian

Research abstract:

Several transcription factors have been shown to be important in the myogenic differentiation programme including Pax3 and Pax7. Pax3 and Pax7 belong to the paired transcription factor family and contain paired and homeo domains. FoxO proteins are members of the forkhead family of transcription factors. They have been credited with regulating key cellular processes including proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation. It has been suggested that FoxO3 and Pax3/7 activate MyoD transcription coordinately in myoblasts through a direct protein-protein interaction. To identify the domains required for the FoxO3-Pax3/7 interaction, domains from FoxO3 were tagged with GST and tested for potential protein-protein interactions with Flag-tagged domains from Pax3 and Pax7.

Personal comment: 

I truly enjoyed my stay at Berkeley. In the lab, Dr. Hu's patience and attentiveness provided me with a comfortable and enjoyable learning environment. I might not have obtained much data but I have gained a better understanding of proper experimental design and the expectations which I must fulfill to become a better student researcher.
Through EXROP, I met my now best friend Anna. Anna is perhaps the most amicable and endearing person I have ever met. Her support kept me  going.
I am grateful to HHMI EXROP for the opportunity they granted me to attend Berkeley to be mentored by top research scientists and make amazing friends.

Other accomplishment:

  • Chairwoman of the Food Committee for the HHMI Undergraduate Research Symposium at Berkeley
  • Went hiking for the first time