Photo of Stanford student and Stanford Bio-X Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant Madeline Dailey.
2020 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Biology
Mentor: Aaron Gitler, Genetics

“Investigating the Role of Ataxin-2 in the Nuclear Transport of Splicing Factors in Neurons”

The goal of Madeline’s work is to understand the role of Ataxin-2 as a protein implicated in the fatal neurodegenerative disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), especially in its interactions with another ALS disease protein, TDP-43. Recent findings suggest that when TDP-43 is overexpressed in rodent neurons, it can result in the mislocalization of a class of nuclear proteins called splicing factors. Madeline will utilize image processing and analysis techniques to examine the localization of splicing factors in the absence of Ataxin-2 in hopes of shedding more light on the mechanistic pathology behind ALS.