Defining a Neuroprotective Pathway for the Treatment of the Ataxias
Undergraduate Institution and Major:
Hope College, B.S. Biology in 2011
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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.
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Neurodegenerative Disease and Neural Injury
Graduate Level Awards And Honors:
- Stark Award, 2014
Graduate Level Publications:
- Wozniak EAL, Chen Z, Paul S, Yang P, Figueroa KP, Friedrich J, Tschumperlin T, Berken M, Ingram M, Henzler C, Pulst SM, Orr HT. Cholecystokinin 1 receptor activation restores normal mTORC1 signaling and is protective to Purkinje cells of SCA mice. Cell Rep. 2021 Oct 12;37(2):109831.
- Ingram M, Wozniak EA, Duvick L, Yang R, Bergmann P, Carson R, O’Callaghan B, Zoghbi HY, Henzler C, Orr HT. Cerebellar transcriptome profiles of ATXN1 transgenic mice reveal SCA1 disease progression and protection pathways. Neuron. 2016;89:1194-1207
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.
- 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.
- Walter Low. Ph.D., Department of Neurosurgery
- Harry Orr, Ph.D., Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
- Ling Li, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy
- 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.
- Brain Awareness Week Instructor, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.
- Minnesota Academy of Science State Science Fair Judge, 2013.
- Advanced Professional Degree Consulting Club Internship, Spring 2015
- Office for Technology Commercialization, Fall 2015
- Society for Neuroscience
Student Mentor And The Best Advice They Gave.
After your written prelims, try to establish a healthy work-life balance.