2022 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Undeclared
Mentor: Tony Wyss-Coray (Neurology & Neurological Sciences)

“Uncovering the Aging Brain Vascular Mucinome”

Preliminary data from the Wyss-Coray lab have revealed that mucins, a crucial class of O-linked glycans, are expressed at significantly lower levels (downregulated) in the brain vasculature with age and Alzheimer’s disease. To determine the associated consequences on vascular integrity and brain health, Ryan will first identify the age-downregulated mucin proteins using an optimized mucin-binding bead enrichment strategy combined with in-house mass spectrometry-based proteomics. He will then conduct statistical analyses on these data and subsequently validate identified proteins using confocal imaging and western blot. Time permitting, he will also begin generating genetic knockouts or removal of these age-dysregulated mucin proteins for in cell and in live subject studies. This work will identify mucin proteins that play a significant role in maintaining a healthy brain.