Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Lillie Bui L&S Sciences

Reactive Oxygen in the Locus Coeruleus

Sleep is a fundamental aspect of human health. One way that our body regulates sleep is through sleep pressure, the balance between sleep and wakefulness. The dysregulation of sleep pressure is a common occurrence in patients with Parkinson’s disease, manifesting in sleep disturbances such as insomnia or excessive daytime sleepiness. It is undetermined if sleep problems and neurodegeneration have common mechanisms, but one potential area of research is in reactive oxygen species (ROS), which have been implicated in Parkinson’s disease. Emerging evidence indicates that ROS accumulate during steady activity of norepinephrine-releasing neurons in the locus coeruleus. These neurons are crucial for arousal and being in a state of wakefulness, and they are among the first to degenerate in Parkinson’s disease. In this project, I will use immunohistochemistry to investigate the specific type of ROS accumulation during prolonged locus coeruleus neuron activity, such as during sleep deprivation, and determine whether recovery sleep helps to promote ROS clearance. By furthering our understanding of ROS in locus coeruleus neurons, this project can help to improve how we approach sleep problems associated with Parkinson’s disease.

Message To Sponsor

Thank you for supporting my project! I am so grateful for the opportunity to improve my research skills and contribute to our understanding of sleep and neurodegenerative diseases. I greatly appreciate your dedication to supporting us students in our journeys as researchers.
Profile image of Lillie Bui
Major: Psychology & Molecular and Cell Biology: Neurobiology
Mentor: Yang Dan
Sponsor: CACSSF
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