In honor of National Postdoc Appreciation Week, all this week we’ll be sharing profiles of just a few of our amazing Mass General postdocs to highlight their research and what inspires them.
Meet Echoe Bouta, PhD, a research fellow in the Department of Radiation Oncology.
Where did you get your PhD from?
University of Rochester
What questions are you asking in your current research? What do you hope to find out?
Lipedema is a chronic disorder that results in increased fat in the lower limbs and manifests as dramatic, painful swelling. Clinical studies demonstrate that patients present with at least partial lymphatic dysfunction, which worsens until lymphedema occurs. As the etiology is largely unknown, treatments are often ineffective, demonstrating the need to understand the relationship between fat and lymphatic capability. The questions I hope to answer are:
- How does increased adiposity impair lymphatic function in an animal model of obesity?
- Can we target key pathways in this process to improve lymphatic function?
The answer to this questions will hopefully catalyze new treatments for lipedema.
What drew you to this field?
The lymphatic research field is relatively young compared to other research fields. I believe that we have only started to discover the importance of the lymphatic system in multiple disease states and it is exciting to be part of that.
What is a typical day like for you?
Much of my project involves imaging of the lymphatic system under different contexts, such as obesity or after delivery of a drug. Therefore, a typical day for me is a mix of in vivo experiments, data analysis and writing.
What do you like most about being a postdoc at Mass General?
The people. We are surrounded by talented scientists from a variety of fields that results in a very interdisciplinary research environment.