EWU McNair Scholar Sylvia Kennerly Completes McNair Summer Research Internship

Congratulations to EWU McNair Scholar Sylvia Kennerly for completing her McNair Summer Research Internship! She worked with mentor Dr. Jason Ashley on her summer 2023 research, "Overexpression of Fringe syltransferase in osteoclastogenesis". Sylvia's research was presented August 16, 2023 at the McNair Summer Research Symposium.


Sylvia's research looked deeper into the overexpression of Fringe enzymes, which modify the Notch pathway and the downstream impacts to osteoclastogenesis, the specialization of precursor monocyte cells in which osteoclasts are produced. Osteoclasts play a critical role in the remodeling of bones during growth and repair of injuries. 


Of her research, Sylvia explains:

Previous findings explored the downstream impact on RAW264.7 cells, an immortal cell line used to model osteoclastogenesis, which showed noticeable impacts on osteoclast formation, lifespan, and physiology. To investigate the impact of over-expression of the individual Fringe glycosyltransferases [Lunatic (LFNG), Manic (MFNG), and Radical (RFNG)] in this process, plasmids were generated using full-length coding sequences obtained from a mouse bone marrow cDNA library and inserted into the pMXs-Puro vector, a Moloney Murine Leukemia Virus (MMLV)-derived gammaretroviral system. Using transient co-transfection with VSV-G envelope plasmids and Plat-E packaging cells, the supernatant produced was collected and introduced to RAW264.7cell line, and primary mouse bone marrow cultures. The overexpressing lines were analyzed using fluorescent microscopy, Acridine Orange and TRAP activity staining, and RT-qPCR. The preliminary findings show similar results between the different cell lines, and the connection of overexpression of single Fringes within precursors downstream impact in differentiation. 


As a student with strong interest in pursuing a career in biochemistry, Sylvia has set her sights on earning a PhD in biochemistry. Through further research and laboratory experience, she hopes to make a positive impact towards human health and disease research. Sylvia’s unwavering commitment to scientific inquiry and their determination to grow and learn new fields makes her a promising scholar.