UnderGraduate STudents

Ryan Chow, BHSc Student

Ryan is a third-year student in the Bachelor of Health Sciences program at McMaster University. At the Kaushic Lab, Ryan will be aiding in current projects investigating the interactions between endogenous lactobacillus and vaginal epithelial cells (VECs). Current research suggests that commensal lactobacilli in the female genital tract exert protective effects against sexually transmitted infections such as HIV. It is hypothesized that Lactobacillus exhibits anti-inflammatory effects and enhances the barrier function of the VECs by regulating certain genes. Ryan will be contributing to the identification of the genes responsible for these protective effects by examining an in vitro model where VECs are co-cultured with lactobacillus. 


In his spare time, Ryan likes to try new pasta recipes, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and volunteer at the McMaster Children's Hospital.

Tushar Dhawan,  BSc Student

Tushar is a fourth-year student completing a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree in the program of Biochemistry at McMaster University.

In the Kaushic Lab, Tushar is completing an independent research project that investigates the influence of TRIM26, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, in negatively regulating the antiviral responses and HSV-2 infection in the vaginal epithelium through innate immunity. Research in our lab has shown that TRIM26 inhibits IRF3 activation, consequently resulting in negative regulation of IFN-β production, and thus increased viral replication. It is hypothesized that over-expression of the TRIM26 gene will increase HSV-2 infectivity and knockout of the TRIM26 gene will reduce HSV-2 infectivity.

In his available time, Tushar enjoys swimming, going to the gym, playing soccer, basketball and badminton.