Summer Research Fellowship Program
Christine Crish, Ph.D.
Pathological changes to the visual system in Alzheimer’s Disease
A major goal of our laboratory is to understand the mechanisms, timing, and progression of Alzheimer’s pathology in the visual system and use this information to develop early interventions to slow, stop, or reverse neurodegeneration in visual or other neural pathways. Disturbances in vision such as decreased visual acuity or inability to detect differences in visual contrast may be some of the earliest symptoms in Alzheimer’s disease (AD)–even preceding symptoms of cognitive decline. An increasing amount of research is showing that accumulation of retinal amyloid pathology precedes/predicts the presence of AD pathology in the brain, providing a possible biomarker of risk in human patients. The proposed project will involve identifying pathological changes in retina, optic nerve, and visual brain regions of transgenic AD model mice selective for specific pathological features of the disease, and determining whether these mice experience deficiencies in vision. Students involved in this project will assess visual abilities of mice using an optomotor response behavioral test to determine the time course of visual deficits in htau and 3xtg AD model mice. Additionally, students will use histological assays to determine the presence/timing of AD pathology in the mouse retina and visual brain regions and compare how different types of AD pathology affect the visual system.
Sheila Fleming, Ph.D.
Gene-Environment Interactions in Parkinson’s Disease
The goal of these studies is to understand the role of ATP13A2 in cellular dysfunction and neurodegeneration. The objective is to characterize ATP13A2 x environmental exposure interactions and determine the mechanisms by which they contribute to behavioral dysfunction and neurodegeneration in vivo.
Muhammad Hossain, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Role of ER stress in Neuroinflammation Following Pesticide Exposure
The goal of this proposal is to determine the role of ER stress in neuroinflammation following deltamethrin exposure.
Takhar Kasumov, Ph.D.
The effect of hyperglycemia in HDL composition and dynamics in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Recently we applied lipoproteome dynamics approach to measure HDL functionality in mice12. In this project we will use this approach to determine the effects of hyperglycemia on HDL function measured via HDL proteome composition and dynamics in patients with T2D. We have completed the study (n=10 T2D and n=9 healthy controls) and collected samples. This summer research project will take advantage of the existing samples to achieve the following objectives:
- isolate the HDL from human plasma
- quantify the composition of HDL proteins
- quantify the kinetics of HDL proteins
- quantify HDL’s anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory functions using enzymatic assays