PhD candidate Naren Mehta awarded NIH F31 grant

On November 27th, Naren Mehta of Maria Ciofani's lab was awarded a highly prestigious F31 grant from the The National Institutes of Health, supporting 3 years of funding.

The purpose of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (F31) award is to enable promising predoctoral students to obtain individualized, mentored research training from outstanding faculty sponsors while conducting dissertation research in scientific health-related fields relevant to the missions of the participating NIH Institutes and Centers. The proposed mentored research training must reflect the applicant’s dissertation research project and is expected to clearly enhance the individual’s potential to develop into a productive, independent research scientist.

Naren’s proposal is centered on understanding how type 3 lymphocytes are formed. These cells are key to maintaining mucosal barrier defenses and are often dysregulated in autoimmunediseases. He will identify and characterize the genetic elements controlling the expression of the transcription factor RORγt that controls the formation of these immune cells. He will also apply high-throughput CRISPRi screens and STARR-seq approaches to identify targets for therapeutic interventions in conditions such as Crohn's disease and multiple sclerosis.