Kayleigh Berthiaume

College of Medicine – Tucson
Year Entered Program: 
Degrees Received: 

Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, minor in Biochemistry from UofA (2020)

Bachelor of Science in Physiology, Honors Distinction from UofA (2020)

Master of Science in Human Physiology from Boston University (2022)

About Me: 

Hello! My name is Kayleigh, and I was born and raised in Glendale, AZ, where I watched the Cardinal’s Stadium construction from my backyard! I earned my Bachelor of Science in Microbiology with a minor in Biochemistry, and my Bachelor of Science in Physiology with Honors distinction from the University of Arizona in 2020. Throughout my undergraduate education, I was immersed in laboratory research. My first laboratory experience was in Dr. Koenraad Van Doorslaer’s lab at the BIO5 Institute at the UofA. I completed my Honors First Year Project focused on the evolutionary oncogenesis and the quantitative comparison of the human papillomavirus (HPV) lifecycle. Following my work in the KVD lab, I completed my Honors thesis research under Dr. Frank Duca in the School of Animal & Comparative Biomedical Sciences, studying the potential treatment of metabolic diseases, like type 2 diabetes, by targeting the gut microbiome. This project culminated in my Honors thesis entitled, “The Role of Prebiotics on Nutrient Sensing and Metabolic Homeostasis in the Small Intestine”.

Following my graduation from the UofA, I continued my education at Boston University in Boston, MA, where I received my Master of Science in Human Physiology in 2022. During my 2 years at BU, I shifted my interests to respiratory diseases and pulmonary pathophysiology. In the first year of graduate school, I worked in Dr. Markus Bosmann’s lab at BU School of Medicine in the Department of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, Sleep & Critical Care Medicine. I studied macrophage production of CXCL4 following the challenge of long-chain polyphosphates, pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) produced by bacteria during infection, which interfere with the host response to infection. I then pivoted to a lab focusing on regenerative medicine and stem cell biology in pulmonary research, hoping to gain experience working with induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In Dr. Andrew Wilson’s lab at BU’s Center for Regenerative Medicine, I completed my MS thesis focused on the genetic underpinnings of COPD. This work culminated in my MS thesis, entitled, “The Functional Characterization of ADGRG6 in Induced Type 2 Alveolar Epithelial Cells”.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to have collaborated and received mentorship from outstanding physicians and scientists and I look forward to creating new connections with UofA faculty during the MSTP.

I’ve also been fortunate enough to engage in interdisciplinary research, which has exposed me to many potential fields for my future career. I’m currently interested in engaging in translational research regarding infectious diseases, vaccine development, and/or pulmonary pathophysiology. I look forward to the confluence of my medical training and my research interests in addressing the needs of my patients!

When I’m not in the lab or studying, I enjoy exploring new breweries, spending time with my brother and grandparents, swimming, and weightlifting.

Honors & Awards: 

Tri-Alpha Honors Society for First Generation College Graduate Students Inductee 2020

UArizona Dean’s List 2020, 2019, 2018

UArizona Honors College Outstanding Senior of the Year Nominee 2020

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Senior of the Year Nominee 2020

UArizona Academic Achievement 2020, 2019

Margaret Bilson Microbiology Scholarship 2018

UArizona Honors College Outstanding Freshman of the Year Nominee 2017

Selected Publications: 

Rhiannon B. Werder, Kayleigh A. Berthiaume, Carly Merritt, Marissa Gallagher, Carlos Villacorta-Martin, Feiya Wang, Pushpinder Bawa, Vidhi Malik, Shawn M. Lyons, Maria C. Basil, Edward E. Morrisey, Darrell N. Kotton, Xiaobo Zhou, Michael H. Cho, Andrew A. Wilson, The COPD GWAS gene ADGRG6 instructs function and injury response in human iPSC-derived type II alveolar epithelial cells, The American Journal of Human Genetics, 2023.

Berthiaume, K. A. 2022, The functional characterization of ADGRG6 in induced type 2 alveolar epithelial cells, Boston University.

Werder, R. B., Huang, J., Abo, K. M., Hix, O. T… Berthiaume, K. A. et al. Generating 3D Spheres and 2D Air-Liquid Interface Cultures of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Type 2 Alveolar Epithelial Cells. Journal of Visualized Experiments. 2022. 

Roewe, J., Walachowski, S., Sharma, A., Berthiaume, K. A. et al. Bacterial Polyphosphates Induce CXCL4 and Synergize with Complement Anaphylatoxin C5a in Lung Injury. Frontiers in Immunology. 2022. 

Berthiaume, K. A. 2020, The Role of Prebiotics on Nutrient Sensing and Metabolic Homeostasis in the Small Intestine, University of Arizona.


Cosmetic Gluteal Augmentation Causes Multiorgan Failure, Severe Hemolysis, and Death". The Society for Critical Care Medicine Critical Care Congress. Phoenix, AZ, January 2024.

“The Functional Characterization of ADGRG6 in Induced Type 2 Alveolar Epithelial Cells” Berthiaume, K. A. BU Center for Regenerative Medicine, CReMinar, Boston, MA, April 2022.

“The Quantitative Comparison of the Human Papillomaviral (HPV) Lifecycle” Berthiaume, K. A., King, K., Van Doorslaer, K. The University of Arizona Honors College First Year Project, Tucson, AZ, April 2017.