Graduate Student Profile - Nicole Jaskiewicz

Nicole Jaskiewicz, PhD StudentNicole Jaskiewicz biochemistry

Biochemistry

Advisor: Dr. David Townson

Research Topic: : Understanding the role of the post-translational modification, O-GlcNAcylation, in the tumorigenic potential of cancers of the female reproductive tract.

O-linked β-N-acetylglucosaminylation. (O-GlcNAcylation) is unique type of protein glycosylation. The nature of O-GlcNAcylation and its interplay with O-phosphorylation make this post-transnational modification a regulator of many cellular functions.

Hyper-O-GlcNAcylation is a general feature of many chronic diseases including Diabetes and cancer. The goal of my research is to uncover specific tumorigenic mechanisms that are controlled by O-GlcNAcylation levels in cervical and endometrial carcinoma. This new understanding may help us understand how diet and life style contribute to such diseases and can further inform current screening practices and treatments with a particular focus on preserving patient fertility.