Undergraduate and Graduate Institutions and Major:
China Agricultural University, B.S. in Biological Science, 2015
University of Minnesota, MS, Biological Sciences, 2017
Ling Li, DVM, Ph.D., Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology
Description of PhD Research:
My project focuses on studying the role of H-Ras, a small GTPase, in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Previously our lab has shown that haplodeficient farnesyl transferase (FT) reduces neuropathology and improves cognitive function in a mouse model of AD. H-Ras is an exclusively farnesylated protein, and the function of H-RAS depends on FT activity. Several downstream signaling pathways of H-Ras have been implicated in AD, but the role of H-Ras in AD is not clear. Utilizing an H-Ras knockout and constitutively active H-Ras mice models, I will study the contribution of H-Ras to the pathogenic process of AD.
Graduate Level Publications:
- Qu W, Johnson A, Kim JH, Lukowicz A, Svedberg D, Cvetanovic M. Inhibition of colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor early in disease ameliorates motor deficits in SCA1 mice. J Neuroinflammation. 2017 May 25;14(1):107.
Outstanding Graduates of China Agricultural University, 07/2015
Third-Place Scholarship at China Agricultural University, 10/2014
Second-Place Scholarship at China Agricultural University, 10/2012 and 2013
Merit Students Award at China Agricultural University, 10/2012
Dahuanong Scholarship at China Agricultural University, 10/2012
Undergraduate or Post-Bac Research:
What Got You Interested In Research?
I found my love for research from early experiences. I could never forget the excitement when I first saw cells under a microscope. I was so attracted to the beauty of the complex yet organized biological world that I bought a microscope and built a small laboratory at home when I was in high school. The excitement of learning new things drove me to spend hours and hours exploring ideas. My undergraduate research experience made me realize that I wanted to understand the underlying mechanisms of animal behavior. Therefore, I chose the Masters in Biological Sciences program at the University of Minnesota to focus on neuroscience. As I learned more, I found that studying neurodegenerative diseases not only could reveal more functions of the brain, but also could help patients in real life. Even though the research theme I am interested in has shifted, the happiness of learning and exploring and the excitement of discovery has never changed.
Why Did You Choose MN?
I came to UMN for my Master’s degree, and as I got to know the Graduate Program in Neuroscience, I knew this was the program that could help me to reach my highest potential. First, the four-week course at Itasca not only provides basic neuroscience lab technique training but also offers a great bonding opportunity with classmates and faculty members. Coming back from Itasca, there are four core courses that provide fundamental neuroscience knowledge and will train me to think as a neuroscientist. There are also four lab rotations in the first year that will allow me to find a lab. In addition, there are more than a hundred faculty members with numerous great research projects that cover all kinds of areas in neuroscience. Even though I cannot work with every faculty member, the unique collaborative research environment at the U will help me build networks and provide all the resources I need for my research. These outstanding advantages make the GPN program unique, and I believe this is the program that can train me to become a better scientist.
Student Mentor and the Best Advice They Gave You?
Mariah Wu gave me a lot of precious advice, one of which is to choose a PI that I am more comfortable working with over a project in which I am interested.
Favorite Itasca Memory:
My favorite memory from Itasca is biking around the Lake Itasca. I never thought I could finish a 17-mile bike ride but I did, so I should stop telling myself things I cannot achieve.