Undergraduate Institution and Major:
College of William Mary, B.S. in Neuroscience/Chemistry, 2014
Marija Cvetanovic, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
Harry Orr, Ph.D., Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
Description of Graduate Research:
Spinocerebellar Ataxia 1 (SCA1) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by a trinucleotide repeat expansion in the normal ataxin1 gene. This drives a dominant negative disease phenotype with an age of onset determined in part by the number of repeats present. My project aims to characterize regional differences in molecular profiles and neuronal function between patients and unaffected controls using in vitro techniques.
Brain Awareness Week Volunteer
Dean’s List, Fall 2010, Spring and Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2014
Undergraduate or Post-Bac Research:
Undergraduate: Mathematical modeling of molecular system interaction in the progression of Multiple Sclerosis
Intramural Post-Baccalaureate Trainee at the NIH (NIMH): (1) Rates of protein synthesis in sleep consolidation and in Fragile X Syndrome. (2) The effect of metformin treatment and PDE4D inhibitor treatment on the underlying rates of protein synthesis and behavioral outcomes in fmr1 KO mice.
What Got You Interested In Research?
I was assigned a personal research project in high school AP Chemistry that brought me in a roundabout way to Neuroscience and the biochemistry behind psychological and neurodegenerative disorders. I found it absolutely fascinating and was excited by how much still remains to be discovered. I knew basically at that point that Neuroscience, and inevitably research, was where I was going to end up. The more research I do, the more I love it.
Why Did You Choose MN?
I loved the location, the research opportunities, and - perhaps most of all - the people.
Student Mentor and the Best Advice They Gave:
Natalie Steenrod: She really put me at ease. She’s very warm and welcoming.
Favorite Itasca Memory:
My favorite Itasca memory is a tie between group movie sessions, week 3 (pharmacology) group presentations, and Chloe's birthday, when we got everyone to go out on the lake together for an hours-long float/paddle, and Armani and I spent 4 hours in a canoe talking in pirate voices.