Mary Gates Endowment For Students

Alexandra Dinu

Mary Gates Research Scholar, Winter 2022

Research Project: Role of Endocytosis in Regulating Signaling of IL-10 Cytokine Family

Project Description: The project I am working on aims to fill a continuing gap in knowledge as to the role of IL-26 in the inflammatory immune response, as well as expanding on the signaling kinetics of IL-10 family cytokines that allow for JAK-STAT activation through a newly proposed endocytic mechanism. 

What have your learned throughout your research project?

From failed proposals to unexpected results that have set me back weeks, the development of this project has been anything but linear, yet at the same time has been monumental in contributing to my growth as an individual. This research project has allowed me to adopt novel ways of thinking that have given me the determination to persevere through the unexpected. The growth I have experienced throughout conducting this research has been paramount, while the continued persistence, patience, and dedication has permeated into all aspects of my life, inspiring me to accept uncertainty with open arms and view challenges as the gates to my future success and development. 

What piece of advice do you have for future applicants?

For future Mary Gates Research/Leadership applicants, I would say that really getting to know your mentor(s) and asking for their advice (including critiques and criticisms) on your essay is crucial throughout this process. I learned so much whilst consulting with my mentor(s) on my application, and have since developed an even closer bond with connections that will last me a lifetime.