Anthe Stylianou used Crown funding to complete her Capstone entitled Characterizing Pitx2 Tooth Morphology and Candidate Genes of Axenfeld- Rieger Syndrome in Zebrafish. Her research focused on Axenfeld-Rieger Syndrome (ARS), which is classified as a rare autosomal dominant disorder that includes defects in the eyes, teeth and craniofacial design. Her first goal was to discover the earliest signs of a Pitx2 mutation in tooth morphogenesis. Her second goal was to analyze expression of candidate genes that were found in pitx2 mutants in order to see if certain gene expressions are changed. Her capstone funding helped her purchase the expensive supplies needed to run her experiments.
She overcame the biggest challenge of her project (getting a specific experiment to work) with the help of her PI, Dr. Jeffrey Amack, and other members of her lab. The best part of Anthe’s project was the feeling of accomplishing such a large undertaking and being able to reflect on everything she’d learned along the way.
Anthe advises future capstone students to plan their time accordingly and to start writing, even if they don’t have results yet! She also stressed how valuable it is to complete a capstone and graduate with Honors — “it definitely sets your resume apart from others!”