Mr. Cameron Kruse
Specialization: Biology
Home institution in US: Pepperdine University, Malibu, California
Host Institution in India: L.M. College of Pharmacy, Ahmedabad, Gujarat  
Start date/Month in India: August 2012
Duration of grant: 9 months

Brief Bio:
Mr. Cameron Kruse graduated with a B.S. in biology from Pepperdine University, California. His introduction to biological research took place at Sandia National Laboratory, where he interned in the field of nanotechnology during the summer of 2007. During the summer of 2008 he participated in the International Summer Science Institute at Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, joining a team of Israeli scientists researching metabolic pathways involved in embryonic heart development. During the summer of 2009 he participated in National Science Foundation funded research with Pepperdine University, independently designing and executing a summer research project on the sun seeking behavior of the California tree frog. In the summer of 2011 he worked with the non-profit organization Lifebread building a bakery in Togo, Africa, and he returned in the winter of 2011 to troubleshoot the business model and draft legal documents for the Togolese group. In the spring of 2012 he interned with the nonprofit organization TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) to support the logistical coordinator at the TED conference in Long Beach, California. Mr. Kruse holds a U.S. Patent Pending for a machine designed to expedite and standardize baseballs used in professional games. He aspires to a career in medicine or biotechnology research, and his extracurricular interests include skiing, baseball, surfing, hiking and general adventurous exploration.

Mr. Kruse’s Fulbright research project, “Investigation into HIV/AIDS Treatment Using Moringa oleifera Plant Extracts,” will focus on ethanolic extracts of the plant Moringa oleifera and its ability to act as a CCR5 antagonist inhibiting the action of HIV on its host. He will be working with Dr. Mehta, director of the L.M. College of Pharmacy, to investigate these highly active antiretroviral treatments (HAART), which are more advanced medications for HIV/AIDS. HAARTs inhibit HIV from binding to T-cells blocking receptors commonly utilized by the virus. Although these drugs can be effective, individuals infected with HIV/AIDS in developing communities have limited to no access to antiretroviral drugs.