Share

Kamat Places Third in 29th Annual University-wide Graduate Exhibition

Posted: April 11, 2014

Kamat, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Animal Science, is a member of the graduate program in immunology and infectious disease.

Manasi Kamat, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Animal Science, was awarded third place in the Health and Life Sciences category in the 29th Annual Graduate Exhibition held by Penn State University at the Hetzel Union Building on April 4-6. Sixty-five posters were judged. The title of her poster was: "Expression of genes and proteins in myeloid lineage cells in the endometrium of dairy heifers during the estrous cycle and early pregnancy".

Kamat completed her B.S. and M.S. degrees in biotechnology from the University of Mumbai, India. She joined the Department in 2010 as a member of the graduate program in immunology and infectious disease.

Troy L. Ott, Ph.D., PAS, professor of reproductive physiology in the Department of Animal Science, is her advisor. He explains that her research is addressing the pressing issue of low fertility in dairy cows, one of the primary reasons for involuntary culling on dairy farms and an issue which has a large economic impact on PA dairy producers. While surprisingly little is known about how the early embryo avoids immune rejection by the mother and establishes a functioning placenta, it is clear that the ability of the embryo to regulate immune function is essential for establishment of pregnancy. He added, "Manasi's  research focuses on critical immune cell types, macrophages and dendritic cells,  at the fetal-maternal interface and how they respond to the presence of the embryo. Her research could lead to strategies to reduce early pregnancy loss and improve fertility in dairy cows."

The Graduate Exhibition places special emphasis on communicating research and creative endeavors to a general audience, and challenges graduate students to present their work in clear, comprehensible terms to people outside their fields of study.