PhD student
University of Saskatchewan
Virology

Department of Microbiology and Immunology
6B73 Health Sciences
107 Wiggins Rd
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E5

Rasika Kunden is a PhD student in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Saskatchewan in Dr. Joyce Wilson’s laboratory. She completed her Master’s degree from the National Institute of Virology in India. She worked on her Master’s project in Dr. Hugo Soudeyn’s laboratory at the Sainte-Justine Hospital and research center, affiliated to the University of Montreal for 5 months. She worked on developing an assay to measure HCV specific Antibody Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity (ADCC), using Fluorescence-activated cell sorter, in HCV infected individuals. During this project, she gained knowledge on immunological responses in HCV infection and a very good experience of molecular techniques, use of lentivirus systems and immunological assays.

She then Joined Dr. Wilson’s Lab as a graduate student where her PhD project is to understand the roles of liver specific microRNA, miR122, in the promotion of HCV replication. She aims to delineate the minimum annealing requirements for small RNAs (miR122 and siRNA) needed to promote HCV genome replication. She is also interested in identifying the functions of host and viral proteins which are known to be associated with small RNAs that promote HCV genome replication. Her studies will be essential in understanding the in-depth role of miR122 and siRNAs in HCV replication which would subsequently help in identifying potential target sites for HCV therapy.