Jessica Froula

Entering Class - 2018


Undergraduate Institution and Major:

Birmingham-Southern College, B.S. in Bio-Psycology, 2016

Graduate Advisor:

Esther Krook-Magnuson, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience


Michael Lee, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
Catherine Kotz, Ph.D., Departments of Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Care (GRECC); Food Science and Nutrition; MN Obesity Center
Esther Krook-Magnuson, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
Ling Li, DVM, Ph.D., Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology

GPN Committees:

GPN Student Board, 2019-2020

Undergraduate or Post-Bac Research:


After graduation, I worked as a technician studying how different molecular conformations of alpha-synuclein could affect pathology and toxicity in Parkinson's Disease.


As an undergraduate, I primarily worked in a lab studying overexpression of the Klotho protein in a mouse model.



  • Froula JM, Castellana-Cruz M, Anabtawi NM, Camino JD, Chen SW, Thrasher DR, Freire J, Yazdi AA, Fleming S, Dobson CM, Kumita JR, Cremades N, Volpicelli-Daley LA. Defining α-synuclein species responsible for Parkinson's disease phenotypes in mice. J Biol Chem. 2019; 294(27):10392-10406.
  • Froula JM, Henderson BW, Gonzalez JC, Vaden JH, Mclean JW, Wu Y, Banumurthy G, Overstreet-Wadiche L, Herskowitz JH, Volpicelli-Daley LA. α-Synuclein fibril-induced paradoxical structural and functional defects in hippocampal neurons. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2018 May 1; 6(1):35. doi: 10.1186/s40478-018-0537-x
  • Polinski NK, Volpicelli-Daley LA, Sortwell CE, Luk KC, Cremades N, Gottler LM, Froula J, Duffy MF, Lee VMY, Martinez TN, Dave KD. Best Practices for Generating and Using Alpha-Synuclein Pre-Formed Fibrils to Model Parkinson's Disease in Rodents. J Parkinsons Dis. 2018;8(2):303-322.


  • Effect of Klotho overexpression in the hippocampus of a mouse model. Senior Thesis Paper; BSC; Birmingham, AL, 2016.
  • Is Exclusion's Influence on Risk-taking Moderated by Reward Type? Kristin N. Meyer; Jessica M Froula; Sean J. McCarthy (Lynne Trench, Faculty Sponsor) Poster; Midwestern Psychological Association Conference; Chicago, IL, 2015.

Undergraduate Awards: 

Phi Beta Kappa, April 2016

Dean’s List 2013-2016

What Got You Interested In Research?

I first got interested in research while I was working at a summer camp for kids on the Autism Spectrum. I wanted to learn more about why each person exhibited such different behavior and varying levels of obstacles to social interaction. This was in high school, so I started looking for colleges where I could study neuroscience and first got involved in research as part of a summer program.

Why Did You Choose MN?

There is a great community of people here who are so excited to help you succeed! Additionally, the wide variety of faculty labs provide for a ton of topics for Ph.D. research.

Student Mentor and the Best Advice They Gave:

Reshma Gore. She gave me some great advice about setting up rotations for my first year.

Favorite Itasca Memory:

One of my favorite Itasca memories is when we all got to make s’mores and play the Werewolf game with the second years around the campfire.