Contributions to STEMM
Dr. Sreelatha is a scientist and an educator. In the Sreelatha laboratory, she studies “the molecular mechanisms of a family of proteins that incorporate the micronutrient selenium and are known as selenoproteins. The human selenoproteome consists of 25 human selenoproteins whose functions remain largely enigmatic,” she said. “We discovered a novel signaling paradigm in the mitochondria that is catalyzed by Selenoprotein O which protects cells from reactive oxygen species (ROS). We aim to determine the role of Selenoprotein O in the cellular response to ROS and how these responses contribute to disease states such as kidney injury and cancer progression.”
“My interest in science was sparked by my high school chemistry teachers, Brian Cook and Heather Voltz,” Dr. Sreelatha said.
“I am forever grateful to them for changing my perception of science and inspiring me to pursue a career in science.”
Later on, in college, “my love of basic science research was piqued by the Green Fellowship program at UT Dallas, which entailed an undergraduate research fellowship at UT Southwestern. During this time, I experienced the scientifically stimulating and vibrant UTSW community that promoted my love of research.”
The UT Southwestern Difference
Dr. Sreelatha loves her work, and that’s what drives her each day.
“Honestly, I don't see it as a ‘job,’ I love to do what I do! I enjoy coming up with creative solutions to solve puzzles in research. The challenges and opportunities make every day more exciting.”