Mary Gates Endowment For Students

Rohita Rangu

Mary Gates Research Scholar, Autumn 2021

Research Project: GRP78 involvement in SARS-CoV-2 entry into pancreatic β cell

Project Description: SARS-CoV-2 infects insulin-producing pancreatic β cells involved in blood glucose regulation. Expression of the canonical receptor, ACE2, in β cells is uncertain. Hence, we propose that GRP78, a protein mislocalized to the plasma membrane under cellular stress, may be an alternative mediator of SARS-CoV-2 entry in the β cell.

What have you learned throughout your research project?

Through my research project, I have learned a lot about the nature of troubleshooting experiments and experimental design. I am grateful to have great mentors in the lab who have given me opportunities to better my scientific communication and project design skills. Additionally, working in the lab has helped built resilience and taught me about the nature of failure in research.

What piece of advice do you have for future applicants?

Trust your mentors’ assessment of your capabilities!