Headshot portrait of Daniel Contreras-Esquivel - Bio-X Undergraduate Fellow
2021 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: undeclared
Mentor: Michelle Monje (Neurology & Neurological Sciences)

“Myelin Integrity and Axon-Glial Connectivity in Autism Spectrum Disorders”

Myelin exhibit plasticity and may adapt with neuronal-activity-regulated oligodendrogenesis in the healthy brain, which can alter neural circuit function and behavioral output. Daniel is studying the role that adaptive myelination plays on the reward circuitry. By combining recombinase technology, microscopy, optogenetics, and behavioral assessments, Daniel will block the differentiation of oligodendrocytes within a mutant mouse model, and run social preference tests to investigate whether blocking the production of new oligodendrocytes can alter any reward circuitry behaviors.