2017 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Biology
Supported by: Bio-X
Mentor: Tony Wyss-Coray, Neurology

While recent headlines have lauded young blood as the “fountain of youth,” the ability of aged blood plasma to induce brain aging is an equally interesting phenomenon. Taylor hopes to further elucidate the exact mechanism by which aged blood plasma affects neuron formation in the hippocampus, focusing in particular on vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM1) as a mediator of crosstalk between blood and brain tissues. This knowledge could be the key to mitigating the impact of memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases in an ever-growing elderly population.

Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 24, 2017:

Determining the Role of VCAM1+ Brain Endothelial Cells in Mediating Neuroinflammation and Brain Aging

Taylor Merkel1, Hanadie Yousef1, Davis Lee2, Tony Wyss-Coray1,2
[Department of Neurology & Neurological Sciences1, Stanford University; VA Palo Alto Health Care System2, Palo Alto]