Zsanett Péter has been accepted to the Sewanee-At-Yale Directed Research Program for Summer and Fall 2016. Zsanett is a rising junior Biochemistry major on the pre-med track. In Zsanett’s words: “I am especially interested in the psychiatric specialty, which is the reason why I believe that the Sewanee-at-Yale program will benefit me immensely.” The program offers students the opportunity to pursue extended research for the summer plus a semester under the guidance of one or more Yale faculty members; during the semester, students earn course credit for their research work as well as for two formal courses. Zsanett will be doing research and clinical work under the mentorship of Dr. Thomas Fernandez, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and in the Yale Child Study Center. Their research will focus on motor stereotypies, a core phenotype of autism spectrum disorder. One objective of the project is to sequence the exome of patients with this disease, detect common mutation sites, and detect cellular and molecular mechanisms related to the gene of interest.
Zsanett grew up in Hungary and moved to the U.S. two years ago to begin her undergraduate career at Sewanee with the help of the Klein Family Scholarship. At Sewanee, she is involved with the Sewanee Health Professions Society as an event organizer and mentorship coordinator, the Sewanee Wellness Action Group as the student leader, the Organization of Cross-Cultural Understanding as Vice-President and Treasurer, and the University Wellness Center as a work-study employee. Zsanett has worked with Dr. Alyssa Summers on research investigating the effect of histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) enzyme on GIMAP expression and their impact on T-cell regulation.