Mentors: Supriya Gupta and Howie Rafal
A major question in developmental biology is how differential gene expression gives rise to the spatial arrangement of the various tissues in the human body. Fibroblasts from different parts of the body express different genes based on their locations in the body. A large set of genes has been discovered that are differentially expressed in fibroblasts from different positions in the body; these studies have focused on RNA transcripts that code for proteins.
Nouran and her mentors sought to determine if non-coding RNAs that do not code for proteins are also differentially expressed in fibroblasts from different regions of the body. Nouran found 79 non-coding RNAs that are differentially expressed between lung and foot by comparing fibroblast cell lines from these locations using Affymetrix gene expression arrays. In the future, each of these RNAs will be studied individually to elucidate the functions they play in fibroblast positioning.
Nouran, a senior at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, identified genes that are differentially expressed in fibroblasts from different regions of the body.