Congratulations to Knight Lab UROP Students

June 9, 2022

Congratulations to undergraduate students Nikoo Alizadeh, Lyndsay Kluge, and Miela Zahavi who completed the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) in April 2022, gaining valuable research experience working on the below projects in the Jason Knight Lab:

  • Nikoo Alizadeh: Significance of Various Glucose Transporters in Neutrophil Glucose Uptake
  • Lyndsay Kluge: Anti-NET Antibodies in Antiphospholipid Antibody-Positive Patients
  • Miela Zahavi: Ginger Oral Supplementation Inhibits NETosis and APS-Associated Venous Thrombosis

UROP is designed for University of Michigan first- and second-year undergraduate students enrolled on the Ann Arbor campus who are seeking a first-time research experience. The program gives students the opportunity to engage in research activities that help them learn about the pursuit of knowledge within an academic discipline from over 800 research mentors from a wide range of schools, colleges, and departments across the campus.

UROP students work alongside a research mentor on an ongoing or new research project, conducting 6-12 hours of research per week for a full academic year. At the end of the year, students present their research project at the annual UROP Spring Research Symposium.

A highlight of the symposium is the presentation of Blue Ribbon Awards which are given for outstanding posters and presentations. Peer facilitators nominate students whose visual representation of data was organized and well-designed and who excelled in demonstrating the context of their research along with what they learned about the project.

A special congratulations goes to Nikoo Alizadeh and Lyndsay Kluge who were honored with Blue Ribbon Awards for their projects.

Dr. Jason Knight, a long-time and strong supporter of UROP, has sponsored students in his lab for the past ten years. 

“Our lab has had at least one UROP student every year since 2012. In our experience, the students always bring great ideas and enthusiasm. Undergrads have earned authorship on dozens of papers, and we have hired several to work in the lab the following semesters and during gap years after they graduate. UROP is a wonderful program that we will continue to support however we can.” - Dr. Jason Knight

This early exposure to research fosters a valuable academic experience for students and gives them research skills and mentorship that leads to academic retention, a more positive undergraduate experience, and creates paths to graduate school. Below Lyndsay Kluge and Miela Zahavi share their experiences working in the Knight Lab.

“I really enjoyed the experiences I gained in the Knight Lab through UROP. I had little to no laboratory skills prior to UROP. Under Dr. Yu (Ray) Zuo and Sherwin Navaz, I was able to learn a variety of laboratory techniques, including NET isolation and ELISAs. This allowed me to contribute to several projects. Specifically, I played a role in a large international cohort study, where we found high anti-NET IgG and IgM antibody levels in patient samples. We also found that anti-NET IgG and IgM antibodies correlated with depressed complement levels. I am fortunate to have had the chance to be a part of the Knight Lab and look forward to continuing this experience outside of UROP. In particular, Dr. Zuo has really inspired me to pursue a career in medicine.” - Lyndsay Kluge

”I really enjoyed working with the Knight Lab this year. I investigated ginger oral supplements and their role in inhibiting NETosis and APS-associated venous thrombosis. With the help of my mentor Dr. Ramadan Ali, I learned about the process of research, the methods of scientific reasoning, and the production of reproducible data. I am extremely grateful for this experience and have thoroughly grown as a student and a person during this opportunity. Thank you to all the members of the Jason Knight Lab for making my experience so positive and educational!” - Miela Zahavi

Research in the Knight Lab focuses on exploring the role that neutrophils play in patients with APS and other diseases. Learn more about their research.