Skip to Main

Student Profile in Early Disease States of Systemic Amyloidosis

Rose Pedretti

Cell & Molecular Biology Graduate Program

Mentor: Lorena Saelices, Ph.D.
Undergraduate Degree: Biochemistry
Undergraduate Institution: Nazareth College of Rochester
Hometown: Melville, NY

Awards/Fellowships: Presidential Scholarship for Undergraduate Studies, Nazareth College 2020: Chemistry Department Service Award, Nazareth College 2020: Sr. Therese M. Lang Biochemistry Award, Nazareth College 2022: Best Poster, International Society of Amyloidosis Meeting 2022: International Society of Amyloidosis Travel Grant 2022: First Place for Best Poster, UT Southwestern Cell and Molecular Biology

Lexus Tatge

How did you become interested in science and/or research?

My undergraduate PI was crucial in helping me develop my love for scientific research. She saw potential in me that I didn't know was there. After my first year of undergraduate work she pushed me to take a summer research course believing that I would enjoy it and she was absolutely right. I wouldn't be here today without her. I really enjoy the problem solving aspect of research and how each piece of data fits into a larger puzzle that many people are trying to solve

Please describe your research.

I am currently working on what our lab says is the "Alzheimer's Disease of the heart", or cardiac transthyretin amyloidosis. This disease occurs when a circulatory protein known as transthyretin misfolds and accumulates in our organs, leading to heart failure. Using the structures of transthyretin assemblies extracted from patient samples, I am working on developing novel tools to detect these assemblies sooner and learn more about the early stages of the disease. We collaborate with clinicians at UTSW and it's exciting to feel like my work will some day impact many people.

Why did you choose UT Southwestern?

I felt like the quality of research was on a higher level than other institutions. I also really like that I have the freedom to scientifically explore anything and UTSW has the resources to support my curiosity.

What do you think makes the Cell & Molecular Biology Program one of the top in the country?

I believe the PIs are not only strong scientists, but strong mentors as well. The caliber of research is high and the quality of mentorship I have received during my graduate career is even higher. I know that by the time I finish my PhD I will be prepared for whatever career path I choose.

What do you love about the Cell & Molecular Biology Program?

This will be similar to my last answer but I really do think the faculty are top tier. You can tell by interacting with them that they not only care about the quality of their science but also supporting the development of trainees.

– Rose Pedretti

View More Student Profiles