Wednesday, March 28, 2018

URSP Student Margaret Sobeski Researches Biomarkers of Inflammation in a Novel Mouse Model with Alzheimer’s Disease

My name is Margaret Sobeski. I am currently a senior majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Chemistry at George Mason University. For my OSCAR project, I will be focusing on biomarkers of inflammation in a novel mouse model with Alzheimer’s disease. My interest in Alzheimer’s disease began my sophomore year of high school when I started volunteering at the local retirement home. I quickly realized the devastation that came with the disease and became determined to get more involved. When I got to George Mason, I decided to major in Neuroscience and involve myself in innovative research related to neurodegenerative diseases. I joined Dr. Flinn’s lab as an undergraduate research assistant where I was encouraged to propose a research question of my own. I have previously conducted my own research project last year and am excited to get to work in the lab again this spring. On a weekly basis, I perform western blots on the brain tissue of mice with Alzheimer’s Disease. Western blotting is a well-established technique that identifies the presence of specific proteins from a more convoluted assortment of proteins in a cell. Although western blotting does not provide an exact number of desired protein present in the tissue, it will aid in my research by indicating whether the inflammatory proteins are in fact present in the brain tissue. In addition, it will determine whether transgenic mice contain more or less inflammatory protein species than the wildtype. One thing I discovered thus far is that any type of research is worth the work. Even if it’s something small, chances are it will aid in the development of something bigger.