Major and research focus:
Duggal is a biochemistry major and in the summer of 2019, her research was focused on antibiotic resistance and reducing bacterial growth.
Project title and synopsis:
Project title: “Indirect Targeting of Bacteria Peptidoglycan Synthesis via the Inhibition of LpoB stimulation of PBP1B.”
Duggal's research synopsis: "By the year 2050, it is estimated by the CDC that deaths by antimicrobial resistant infections will increase to approximately 10 million per year, serving as the leading cause of death. With this pressing threat, the development of novel methods to inhibit bacterial growth is vital. Currently, most human antibacterials target peptigoglycan synthesis directly via Beta-lactams such as penicillin. Instead of directly attacking the cell wall and peptidoglycan synthesis, I am seeking to disturb the regulation of peptidoglycan synthesis, resulting in a defective cell wall and ultimately cell death."
Research mentor and funding source:
Her research mentor was Focco Van Den Akker, an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry.
Duggal was funded by SOURCE through the Provost Summer Undergraduate Research Grant (PSURG) and the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) program.
Biggest learning moment while doing research:
"I learned how to deal with failure and setbacks in research; and not allowing these things to define the work but rather pushing forward in spite of them!" Duggal said.
Service and leadership at CWRU:
Duggal was the Vice President for Academic Affairs of the Undergraduate Student Government last year.
Interesting fact: Duggal sat on seven committees during the 2018-19 academic year! As she served in these different roles, Duggal was influential in working with Provost's office to initiate a new university GER.
Aspirations for the future:
Duggal aspires to become a medical doctor with the goal of working in pediatric care. She wants to work on her research on antibiotic resistance as she provides clinical care to her patients.