Melody Gao '17

Melody Gao

Hello! I am a neuroscience major at Wellesley College. I joined Professor Marc Tetel's lab in Spring 2014 of my first year. Since then, I have been studying the interaction between estrogens and the gut microbiome in female mice. Estrogens are known to regulate feeding and affect metabolism. Additionally, it is also known that changes in weight lead to changes in the bacterial compositions in the gut of both mice and humans. Our goal is to understand the mechanisms by which estrogens protect against obesity caused by a high fat diet. I am currently working on this project with a fellow student in the Tetel lab, Priyanka Ram, and also in collaboration with Professor Vanja Klepac-Ceraj’s lab in the Biology Department.

Previously, I have researched in a plant genomics lab at the University of Kentucky during the summer after my junior year of high school. I worked on a project aiming to clone plant genes that regulate root nodule symbiosis formed between legumes and nitrogen-fixing bacteria. I have also interned at a hematology lab at the Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics during the summer of 2014. I studied the effects of two common cancer treatment methods (ionizing radiation and alkylating agents) on the transformation of myeloid malignancies in mice that lacked the Tet2 gene, a tumor suppressor.  

In the future, I hope to continue researching as well as pursuing a career in medicine.

During my free time, I sometimes like to jump back into the pool and relive my competitive swimming days. I also love playing piano, skywatching, and anything related to dolphins.