2022 & 2023 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

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2022 Research Project: “Identifying the Role of Aberrant Neural Activity in Alzheimer's Disease”

2022 Mentor: Karl Deisseroth (Bioengineering and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences)

While it is known that neural systems fail and cognition declines during the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease, the underlying neuronal mechanisms remain unknown. This project aims to understand how changes in single cell neuronal activity and their associated networks in Alzheimer’s disease directly influence behavior. To begin answering this question, neural activity over disease progression will be studied through fluorescence imaging of the dorsal hippocampal CA1 region of the brain during learning and memory tasks in Alzheimer’s mice models. Understanding the link between neural activity and cognitive decline will contribute to an updated understanding of Alzheimer’s Disease and more refined approaches towards therapeutic trials.

2023 Research Project: “Investigating Neural Circuits in Alzheimer’s Disease and Opsin Engineering”

2023 Mentor: Karl Deisseroth (Bioengineering and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences)

Jaeah’s project is concentrating on how the neural circuitry is affected in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s Disease. Jaeah will investigate the properties of specific photoreceptive proteins (opsins) that under particular conditions potently inhibit neural activity at the millisecond scale. To do this, Jaeah will integrate disease biology with neuroscience techniques and computational methods to understand properties like their spectral sensitivity and kinetics, which could lead to a better understanding of Alzheimer’s disease progression.