Undergraduate Institution and Major:
College of William Mary, B.S. in Neuroscience/Chemistry, 2014
Marija Cvetanovic, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
Harry Orr, Ph.D., Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
Description of Graduate Research:
My thesis project is the characterization of spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) in specific cell types. I am using induced pluripotent stem cells as a model to create neurons from different regions of the brain- cortical neurons, cervical lower motor neurons, and purkinje neurons. Using this model, we seek to determine the effect of mutant Ataxin1 on the transcription, morphology, and function of these cells.
- Mellesmoen A, Sheeler C, Ferro A, Rainwater O, Cvetanovic M. Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) delays onset of pathogenesis in transgenic mouse model of apinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1). Front Cell Neurosci. 2019 Jan 21;12:509.
- Ferro A, Sheeler C, Rosa JG, Cvetanovic M. Role of microglia in ataxias. J Mol Biol. 2019;431(9):1792-1804.
Graduate Level Abstracts:
- Sheeler CA, Cvetanovic M, Orr HT. Characterization of SCA1 in hiPSC-derived neural progenitors and neurons. Wellcome Genome Campus Course on Molecular Neurodegeneration. January 2019.
- Stark Award for Advanced Scholarship, 2018
- Saturday with a Scientist 2018
- Brain Awareness Week 2017, 2018
- Brain Bee 2017
- American Associate for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
- American Chemical Society (ACS)
- Psi Chi
Dean’s List, Fall 2010, Spring and Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2014
Undergraduate or Post-Bac Research:
Undergraduate: Mathematical modeling of molecular system interaction in the progression of Multiple Sclerosis
Intramural Post-Baccalaureate Trainee at the NIH (NIMH): (1) Rates of protein synthesis in sleep consolidation and in Fragile X Syndrome. (2) The effect of metformin treatment and PDE4D inhibitor treatment on the underlying rates of protein synthesis and behavioral outcomes in fmr1 KO mice.
What Got You Interested In Research?
I was assigned a personal research project in high school AP Chemistry that brought me in a roundabout way to Neuroscience and the biochemistry behind psychological and neurodegenerative disorders. I found it absolutely fascinating and was excited by how much still remains to be discovered. I knew basically at that point that Neuroscience, and inevitably research, was where I was going to end up. The more research I do, the more I love it.
Why Did You Choose MN?
I loved the location, the research opportunities, and - perhaps most of all - the people.
Student Mentor and the Best Advice They Gave:
Natalie Steenrod: She really put me at ease. She’s very warm and welcoming.
Favorite Itasca Memory:
My favorite Itasca memory is a tie between group movie sessions, week 3 (pharmacology) group presentations, and Chloe's birthday, when we got everyone to go out on the lake together for an hours-long float/paddle, and Armani and I spent 4 hours in a canoe talking in pirate voices.