Kyle Biesecker

Ph.D. 2016

E-MAIL: bies0051@umn.edu

Thesis Title:

Glial Cell Calcium Signaling Regulates Capillary Blood Flow

UNDERGRAD INSTITUTION AND MAJOR:
St Olaf College, B.A. in Psychology with Neuroscience, 2011

GRADUATE ADVISOR
Eric Newman, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
THESIS COMMITTEE MEMBERS

  • Alfonso Araque, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience (Chair)
  • Marija Cvetanovic, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
  • Paulo Kofuji, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
  • Theoden Netoff, Ph.D., Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Eric Newman, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience

DESCRIPTION OF GRADUATE RESEARCH
I study glial cells and blood flow regulation in the central nervous system. Regulation of local blood flow is essential for active neurons to receive sufficient oxygen and glucose. There has been a large controversy over the past 10 years to determine if glial calcium signaling regulates vascular diameter. My research under the guidance of Dr. Eric Newman demonstrates that glial calcium signaling regulates capillary diameter, but not arteriole diameter. This important finding could be crucial to understanding the seemingly contradictory findings in many publications.

RESEARCH CATEGORIES

  • Imaging and Optogenetics
  • Neuroendocrine and Homeostatic Systems
  • Visual Neuroscience

GRADUATE LEVEL AWARDS AND HONORS

  • Stark Award for Advanced Scholarship, University of Minnesota, 2012
  • COGS Scholar Award, University of Minnesota, 2014
  • GAPSA Travel Award, University of Minnesota, 2014
  • Outstanding Student Award, International Astrocyte School, 2014
  • MinnCReST Predoctoral Fellow, University of Minnesota, 2014-present

GRADUATE LEVEL PUBLICATIONS

  • Srienc AI, Biesecker KR, Shimoda AM, Kur J, Newman EA. Ischemia-induced spreading depolarization in the retina. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2016 Jul 7;.
  • Biesecker KR, Srienc AI. (2015) The functional role of astrocyte calcium signaling in cortical blood flow regulation. J Neuroscience. 35:868-870. *Journal Club Article*

GRADUATE LEVEL ABSTRACTS

  • Biesecker KR, Srienc AI, Agarwal A, Bergles DE, Newman EA. (2014) The role of glial calcium signaling in neurovascular coupling. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., October, 2014.
  • Srienc AI, Biesecker KR, Agarwal A, Bergles DE Newman EA. (2014) Glial calcium signaling in the ischemic mouse retina. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., October, 2014.

PROFESSIONAL PRESENTATIONS

  • Glial calcium signaling in the mammalian retina. Oral presentation at Graduate Program in Neuroscience Colloquium Series, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2013.
  • The role of glial cell calcium in neurovascular coupling. Oral presentation at Graduate Program in Neuroscience Colloquium Series, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2014.
  • The role of Müller cell calcium signaling in neurovascular coupling. Oral presentation at the International Astrocyte School, Bentinoro, Italy, 2014.
  • Glial cell calcium signaling does not mediate neurovascular coupling onto arterioles. Oral presentation at Graduate Program in Neuroscience Colloquium Series, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2015.

ROTATIONS

  • Karen Ashe, M.D., Department of Neurology
  • Michael Lee, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
  • Eric Newman, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience
  • Sylvain Lesne, Ph.D., M.Sci, Department of Neuroscience

GPN COMMITTEES

  • Mentorship Committee Co-Chair, 2013-2015
  • Steering Committee Student Representative, 2014-present
  • Career Facilitation Committee, Founding Member, 2015-present

OTHER COMMITTEE INVOLVEMENT           

  • Advanced Professional Degree Consulting Club, Officer, 2015-present

PROFESSIONAL OUTREACH

  • Brain Awareness Week Instructor, 2011-present
  • Brain Booth State Fair Instructor, 2012-present

INTERNSHIPS

  • Advanced Professional Degree Consulting Club Internship Program, Winter 2015

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE UMN?
I chose UMN because of the collaborative, supportive environment with engaged faculty.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A FIRST YEAR GRADUATE STUDENT?
Don't be afraid to work outside your comfort zone. That’s where you learn the most.

Kyle Biesecker