Renata Vallecillo

Anticipated AMP Graduation Date: 

Spring 2021

Other Education:      

University of Arizona, BS, Molecular and Cellular Biology, 2020, and BA, Biochemistry, 2020, Minor in Spanish, 2020       

Research Advisor and Department:                                     

Dr. Julie Ledford, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine

Research Topic:    

According to the CDC, 1 in 13 people suffer from asthma, a lung disease that causes difficulty breathing due to narrowing of the airways, resulting in chest tightness, coughing, or wheezing. There are many biomarkers for lung disease which are being targeted for research and therapies. Creatine kinase is an enzyme that has been implicated as a possible biomarker for lung disease. The predominant isoform of creatine kinase in the lungs has been identified to be brain-type creatine kinase (CKB), but not much is known about its function. My project focuses on investigating the role of brain-type creatine kinase in asthma using cell and mouse models.

What do you like to do outside of the lab?                       

I enjoy playing on the UA women's ultimate frisbee team, hiking, and spending time with friends.

What outreach or service activities are you involved in?                            

I volunteer with the UA Juntos Por La Salud mobile clinic, where we provide free basic health screenings in Spanish and educate the underinsured Latino community in Southern Arizona about risk factors for/associated with diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, and other public health issues. My ultimate frisbee team also assists with weekly Tucson ultimate youth league practices, and I will be beginning my second year mentoring freshmen through the MCB Peer Mentor Program.                                                     

Favorite Quotation:                                     

"I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things." -Mother Teresa

Honors and Awards:

National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar

Why did you choose to enter the MCB AMP Program?    

As a pre-med student interested in both research and medicine, I think that the MCB AMP Program is the perfect opportunity for me to explore my interests in research before I pursue a career in medicine.

Additional Information:

I was recently accepted to the NIH-funded UA Environmental Health Sciences-Transformative Research Undergraduate Experience (EHS-TRUE) Program in May 2019.