Emily Wozniak (Leathley)

Ph.D. 2016

E-mail: leath043@umn.edu

Thesis Title:

Defining a Neuroprotective Pathway for the Treatment of the Ataxias

UNDERGRAD INSTITUTION AND MAJOR:
Hope College, B.S. Biology in 2011

GRADUATE ADVISOR
Harry Orr, Ph.D.

THESIS COMMITTEE MEMBERS

  • Yasushi Nakagawa, M.D./Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience (Chair)
  • Marija Cvetanovich, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
  • Lihsia Chen, Ph.D., Department of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development
  • Timothy Ebner, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
  • Harry Orr, Ph.D., Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

DESCRIPTION OF GRADUATE RESEARCH
Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 1 (SCA1) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by a polyglutamine (polyQ) repeat expansion in the gene ATXN1. This leads to cell-specific atrophy and death of the Purkinje cells of the cerebellum and neurons in the brainstem. Our lab identified a mouse model of SCA1 that has ataxia, but does not have a progressive degenerative disease (Pcp2-ATXN1[30Q]D776, or D30 mice). My work showed that an upregulation of the neuropeptide cholecystokinin (Cck) is protective against progressive disease in these mice. My thesis continues to explore the mechanisms by which Cck exerts this protective effect.

RESEARCH CATEGORIES

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neurodegenerative Disease and Neural Injury
  • Neurogenetics

GRADUATE LEVEL AWARDS AND HONORS

  • Stark Award, 2014

GRADUATE LEVEL PUBLICATIONS

  • Ingram M, Wozniak EA, Duvick L, Yang R, Bergmann P, Carson R, O’Callaghan B, Zoghbi HY, Henzler C, Orr HT. (2016) Cerebellar transcriptome profiles of ATXN1 transgenic mice reveal SCA1 disease progression and protection pathways. Neuron. 89:1194-1207.
  • Melissa Ingram*, Emily Leathley*, Lisa Duvick, Paul Bergmann, Jeehye Park, Huda Y. Zoghbi, Christine Henzler, and Harry T. Orr. Molecular Landscape of a Polyglutamine Disease Initiation and Progression Revealed by Cerebellar RNA Sequencing of SCA1 Transgenic Mice, Neuron. *Co-first author (Submitted)

GRADUATE LEVEL ABSTRACTS

  • Leathley E, Ingram M, Zoghbi HY, Orr HT. (2014) Regulation of CF-PC synaptic pruning in a mouse model of SCA1” Abstract for nanosymposium oral presentation at the Society for Neuroscience meeting, Washington D.C.

PROFESSIONAL PRESENTATIONS

  • A Role for Cck in Protecting Against Neurodegeneration in a Mouse Model of SCA1. Oral presentation at the Cerebellum Gordon Research Conference, Lewiston, ME, August, 2015.
  • A Role for Cck in Protecting Against Neurodegeneration in a Mouse Model of SCA1. Oral presentation at Department of Neuroscience Colloquium Series, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, Spring 2015.
  • A Role for Cck in Protecting Against Neurodegeneration in a Mouse Model of SCA1. Poster presentation at the Molecular Neurology and Therapeutics Course, Wellcome Trust Campus, Hinxton, UK, Summer 2014.
  • Regulation of CF-PC synaptic pruning in a mouse model of SCA1. Oral presentation at Department of Neuroscience Colloquium Series, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, Spring 2014.
  • Cholecystokinin upregulation prevents proper cerebellar Climbing Fiber pruning: a tool for exploring CF-Purkinje Cell synapse development. Poster Presentation at the Graduate Program in Neuroscience Annual Winter Retreat, Minneapolis, MN, 2014.
  • Evaluating the role of phosphorylation of ataxin1 at S776 in multiple brain areas and its contribution to SCA1. Poster Presentation at the Graduate Program in Neuroscience Annual Winter Retreat, Minneapolis, MN, 2013.

ROTATIONS

  • Walter Low. Ph.D., Department of Neurosurgery
  • Harry Orr, Ph.D., Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
  • Ling Li, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy

GPN COMMITTEES

  • Biomedical Research Recognition Day planning committee, 2012-2014
  • Community Outreach Committee, 2013-2015
  • Graduate Program in Neuroscience Admissions Committee, 2013, 2014

OTHER COMMITTEE INVOLVEMENT

  • Advanced Professional Degree Consulting Club, Officer, 2015
  • Consulting Contract work with Biovest, Inc., 2015.

PROFESSIONAL OUTREACH

  • Brain Awareness Week Instructor, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.
  • Minnesota Academy of Science State Science Fair Judge, 2013.

INTERNSHIPS

  • Advanced Professional Degree Consulting Club Internship, Spring 2015
  • Office for Technology Commercialization, Fall 2015

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

  • Society for Neuroscience

STUDENT MENTOR AND THE BEST ADVICE THEY GAVE.

After your written prelims, try to establish a healthy work-life balance.

Emily Wozniak