Aleezeh Shaikh

Aleezeh Shaikh

Mentor

Matthew Merritt, PhD

College

UF Health Cancer Center

Major

Economics

Minor

Chemistry

Organizations

University Honors Program, Sigma Kappa Sorority, Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Honor Society, Pakistani Student Association

Academic Awards

University Scholars Program, Florida Academic Scholar, President's Honor Roll

Volunteering

Alachua County FluMist Program, MentorGNV, Walk to End Alzheimer's

Research Interests

Cancer Therapeutics and Host Response, Metabolism, Oncology, Neurology

Hobbies and Interests

Orangetheory Fitness, Baking

Research Project

Using the Ketogenic Diet to Disrupt Tumor Growth in Glioblastoma Cells

The objective of this project is to determine whether the ketogenic diet will be useful in suppressing growth in brain tumors. In the absence of glucose from the diet, the brain is forced to change its source of energy from carbohydrates to ketone bodies. Normal brain cells can function off of ketones; however, quickly proliferating brain cancer cells can not. The overall goal of the project is to find an effective cancer treatment that targets brain cancer cell growth without harming normal cells. Using mice as a model, this project will analyze metabolism in glioblastoma cell cultures using isotopic tracers and gas chromatography mass spectrometry techniques.