Dr. Margarita Vigodner

Dr. Margarita Vigodner, associate professor of biology, has co-authored an article with YU students, “Sumoylation and its regulation in testicular Sertoli cells,” that was published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communication (Sept. 29, 2021).

Her co-authors are Tania Kiesel ’23S and Kayla Perlmutter ’22S and Manveet Nanda and Shanza Baseer Tariq (both currently enrolled in the Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship at the Katz School of Science and Health) along with Dr. Amitabha Sengupta, research associate.

The core focus of the study, according to Kiesel, a biology major who hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina, was to work on “the unknown causes of male infertility,” an important research challenge because, as Perlmutter, also a bio major, from Baltimore, Maryland, points out, “infertility affects 8-12% of the couples in the United States, and half of these cases can be attributed to the male partner,” likely due to damage caused during spermatogenesis, the process in which male sperm are formed. “So we studied male infertility,” said Nanda, who calls Jalandhar, India, home, “at the proteomic level (that is, the level of proteins) and worked on how slowing down the effect of a particular protein can affect male infertility.”

For Kiesel, having her name appear on the publication “felt like a huge accomplishment,” and it fit perfectly into the pre-med student’s career plans to become an OB-GYN. Perlmutter was equally excited to see her name listed as a co-author and “felt honored to be a part of the research striving to help couples create families.”

Nanda, who aims to pursue a Ph.D. in cancer biology, was grateful for the chance “to have made a scientific contribution to my field” that will help her with her applications and add to her research experience.

 

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