Headshot portrait of Kate LeBlanc - Bio-X Undergraduate Fellow
2019 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Biology
Mentor: Carla Shatz, Biology and Neurobiology

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is considered a neurodegenerative disease of the aging brain, with adult onset defined by cognitive decline and beta amyloid plaques. However, in mouse models of genetic forms of AD, high levels of soluble beta amyloid (Abeta) are present very early in development, when neural plasticity is needed to sculpt brain circuits. Kate’s research will examine if neural plasticity in the visual system is disrupted at these early ages, and whether a drug that blocks Abeta binding to an Abeta receptor in the brain can protect against disruption. These results could point to novel treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.