Ashley Silvia is a Biochemistry/Pre-Med major at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She is looking to further her education towards a career in criminal and forensic pathology. A current research interest of hers is how environmental factors can affect gene expression. Her research with Kathleen Arcaro focuses on the epigenetic changes in breast cancer cells that have been treated with Sulforaphane. The compound Sulforaphane is found in broccoli sprouts and has beneficial effects that correspond with changes in DNA methylation patterns. With the CRF assistantship, Ashley will be able to use this research as a guide for a diet study where women would be given broccoli sprouts in addition to their regular diet. She hopes that providing women with feedback results from the diet study will encourage them to make healthy diet choices to gain benefits such as potentially reducing their risk of breast cancer.
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