Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder resulting in symptoms such as resting tremors, muscle rigidity, and impaired balance. Familial PD has been found to result from mutations in the gene for the protein α-synuclein and accumulation of α-synuclein is found in familial and sporadic cases of PD. Prior research found that the chemical mannitol has a neuroprotective effect in a Drosophila model of PD. For my research project, I used a C. elegans model of PD, which is genetically modified to produce human α-synuclein, to test the impact of mannitol as a potential PD treatment. C. elegans is a nematode roundworm that works well as a model organism for addressing neurobiological questions because of its well understood nervous system and genome. Throughout the course of my research, I conducted preliminary research and created a research design to measure behavioral defects and aggregation of α-synuclein in the C. elegans. I will be using this research design to collect data as an SYE.
Class of 2023
Talya Scott, ’23, has a major in Neuroscience and minors in Public Health and Chemistry. Her time spent working in a nursing home and interest in medicine led her to pursue a research project testing a potential treatment for Parkinson’s Disease in a C. elegans model. After completing this summer...