UK Student Spotlight: Yun Young Go

Name: Yun Young Go

From: Seoul, Korea

Degrees and institute where received: 
DVM, College of Veterinary Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea
MSc, College of Veterinary Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea
PhD, Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center
In December 2011 Yun Young Go completed her PhD degree in the Department of Veterinary Science at the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center under the guidance of Peter Timoney, MVB, PhD, FRCVS, Frederick Van Lennep Chair in Equine Veterinary Science, and Udeni Balasuriya, PhD, MS, BVSc, a professor of virology at the Gluck Center. 
“Before joining the graduate program as a Geoffrey C. Hughes scholar, I worked as an equine clinician at Korea Racing Authority (KRA), the sole Thoroughbred racing authority in Korea, where I gained ample knowledge and experience in equine medicine,” Go said. “A senior veterinarian from KRA recommended that I contact Dr. Peter Timoney, who graciously agreed to be my PhD advisor. After joining the program, I was fortunate to meet Dr. Udeni Balasuriya, one of the leading molecular virologists in equine virology, who mentored me during my graduate studies at the Gluck Equine Research Center.”
Go’s PhD research focused primarily on equine arteritis virus (EAV), which causes respiratory and reproductive disease in horses known as equine viral arteritis (EVA).  
“In particular, I characterized the host-virus interactions by combining contemporary molecular biology techniques and host genomic analysis using genome-wide association study (GWAS),” Go said. “The interaction between the virus and the host is important for viral replication, virulence, and pathogenesis.”
Go investigated the interactions of viral structural proteins that determine the host cell tropism. In parallel, the GWAS helped to understand horses’ genetic basis of susceptibility to EAV infection. She said a common haplotype associated with the in vitro CD3+ T lymphocyte susceptibility/resistance to EAV infection has also been identified.
“Understanding how cellular proteins interact with viral RNA or viral proteins, as well as their role in viral infection, allows for better characterization of the mechanisms of EAV pathogenesis and persistent infection in stallions,” Go said. 
In December 2011 Go was certified as a Diplomate in Virology with the American College of Veterinary Microbiology (ACVM). In January 2012 she joined the laboratory of Kate Ryman, PhD, at the Center for Vaccine Research at the University of Pittsburgh as a postdoctoral scholar to work on arthropod-borne viral diseases.  
“Specifically, I am studying the virus-host interaction and pathogenesis of Yellow fever virus (flavivirus) and Chikungunya virus (alphaviruses) using mice as a model,” Go said. 
Shaila Sigsgaard is a contributing writer for the Bluegrass Equine Digest.

Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.