Success After Wooster
Amy Braun '08
Immediately following graduation in May, 2008, I was hired as a research assistant by Dr. Mark Noble at the University of Rochester. Dr. Noble is one of the pioneers in the stem and progenitor cell field. He was a part of the team that discovered the first known adult CNS stem cell, the Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cell (OPC), at Stanford in the 1980s. Our lab focused on characterizing the role of the OPC in pathological contexts, including Multiple Sclerosis, Autism-Spectrum Disorders, Krabbe’s disease, and glioblastoma, as well as in the cognitive and sensory deficits that result from chemotherapy treatment. I have worked on a number of those projects, and ran an independent investigation of the effects of acute heavy-metal insults on the neurons and glia of the developing CNS. I learned so much from working there, and it has given me a new and enriched perspective on the complexities of the brain. Working in a large lab at a prestigious university, I also gained valuable experience in the fast-paced and competitive world of biomedical research. I am currently at Stanford Neuro.
Ashita Gurnani '10
Last summer, I worked at the OARDC in the Food Animal Health and Research Program. One of my projects dealt with nitric oxide (NO) generation. NO has been shown to have anti-viral activity by inhibiting viral replication and thus, it is important to see which viruses induce NO generation. For this purpose, I performed NO assays to determine the concentration of nitric oxide in cells individually infected with Porcine viruses, PRCV and PPRSV, and also in those co-infected with both viruses. I also performed RNA extractions and RT-PCR's in order to detect the presence of human norovirus in pig fecal samples. In addition, I am performing techniques like immunohistochemistry and immunocytochemistry on tissues and cells infected with viruses.
The overall goal of my senior I.S was to investigate the acute versus the chronic effects of caffeine on Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) related behavior and pathology. An aged model of APPswe/PS1de9 mice was used, since they exhibit both soluble (Ab1-40) and the neurotoxic, insoluble (Ab1-42) forms of Ab, in areas of the brain involved in learning and memory such as the hippocampus and cortex. The specific objectives of this study were 1)To evaluate the differences in the effects of chronic versus acute treatment of caffeine on cognitive functioning in aged APP/PS1 mice by performing behavioral tasks that test learning and memory and 2) To investigate differences in Ab pathology in the hippocampus and cortex, as a result of each form of administration of caffeine. For this purpose, behavioral tasks like the Morris Water Maze and contextual and fear conditioning was performed and ELISA assays were used to determine levels of Ab pathology in the brain.
I plan to persue a PhD degree in clinical neuropsychology.