Started program in 2012
First year rotations:
Cheryl Stucky, PhD Lab
Milan Joksimovic, PhD Lab
Frank Pintar, PhD Lab
Mentor Selected: Milan Joksimovic, PhD Lab
Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy
Exposure to the field of neuroscience during my undergraduate career through coursework and research influenced me to further pursue my neuroscience education at the graduate level. After rotating through several neuroscience-based labs, I found great interest in the field of developmental neurobiology. In the Joksimovic Lab, we study the development of midbrain dopamine (mDA) neurons in an attempt to elucidate cellular mechanisms governing this process. A degeneration of mDA neurons is characteristic of Parkinson’s disease (PD); therefore, elucidating mechanisms regulating neurogenesis of these neurons could provide insight into engineering stem cell therapeutics targeted at treating PD. We are currently investigating the role of several signaling pathways in the development of this specific class of neurons.