2022 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Undeclared
Mentor: Erin Gibson (Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences)

“Determining the Role of Circadian Transcriptional Control in Myelin-Forming Precursors”

There remains a significant gap in our knowledge of how the circadian (24-hour biological cycling) system regulates oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) that play a key role in the central nervous system and myelination in health or putative dysmyelination in brain disorders. Julia will study how the identified principal circadian regulator protein BMAL1 controls OPCs function. Using genetic knockdown strategies, immunofluorescence and RNA-sequencing, she will evaluate the role of the circadian clock in OPCs and assess the effect of its dysregulation. Understanding how the circadian clock regulates myelin-forming precursors will impart unique insights into normal and aberrant brain development and provide a foundation to investigate how molecular mechanisms affect neurological development and disorders.