Undergraduate Student Spotlight

Undergraduate Student, Dylan Amiri (Class of 2026) works with Dr. Oliver Bracko under the supervision of graduate student Zeynab Tabrizi to conduct advanced microscopy in mice and single-cell analysis of neutrophil subpopulations in Alzheimer’s disease.

Dylan Amiri is a sophomore at the University of Miami studying Biology on the pre-medical track. He became inspired to join the BloodFlow Lab after reading literature about Alzheimer's Disease and self-studying neurological mechanisms that contribute to memory formation, such aslong-term potentiation, during his freshman year. His responsibilities in the lab include performing survival surgery (craniotomy for window implantation) and immunostaining to investigate blood vessel inflammation.


During his freshman year, Dylan was one of the first people to use the data collected throughout two semesters from the BIL151 and BIL161 labs to present posters at different symposiums describing the effects of inhibiting β-catenin and sFRP on planarian regeneration and how increased temperature affects the permeability of the cuticular transpiration barrier specifically in the Alocasia odora species of plant.


In addition, he conducts retrospective chart reviews for Mecklenburg Neurology, a group practice located in Charlotte, NC and surrounding areas. He is currently looking into clinical patient samples suffering from sleep apnea and observing different correlations between the severity of sleep apnea (measured by apnea-hypopnea index and Epworth score) and demographic or condition-specific variables. In collaboration with Dr. Bracko, he and Mecklenburg Neurology are working on a publication discussing the inconsistencies observed in a random patient sample between apnea-hypopnea index and Epworth scores regarding their suggested severity of sleep apnea. The data shows that Epworth scores are less effective to predict sleep apnea severity.


He worked with Dr. Valentine St. Hilaire of the University of Miami Chemistry Department to develop a new method for determining the most stable aromatic configuration of organic compounds referred to as the Inclusive vs. Non-Inclusive Steric Number Comparison as well as an alternative model for revealing conjugated pi systems in alkyne-containing compounds called the Lone Pair Hybrid Model. They have also theorized a way for Grignard reagents to add to an aromatic compound following aromatic halogenation through an elimination-addition mechanism with a benzyne intermediate and expect to test the reaction experimentally during the Fall 2023 semester.


In addition to his research conducted at the University of Miami and with Mecklenburg Neurology, Dylan serves as a volunteer undergraduate teaching assistant for Dr. Fuwu Zhang’s CHM 222 section where he hosts office hours for his students every week, assists during Q&A sessions on days of exams and has conducted a guest lecture describing his new method for aromaticity. He is also a member of the Chemistry Club at the University of Miami where he participates in events that educate young kids interested in STEM about the chemical sciences to increase their interest in the field.