Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Rachel Shon Rose Hills

Hexokinase 2 Inhibitors as an Anti-Inflammatory Treatment for Stroke

Stroke is the blockage of blood flow to the brain that can cause lasting damage, disability, and death. Each year, there are at least 795,000 people in the United States who have a stroke. It is known that the inflammatory response can exacerbate cellular injury after stroke, thus, suppressing the immune response is a promising approach to reducing damage. One method of suppressing the immune response would be decreasing immune cell activity by slowing the rate of glucose breakdown through glycolysis. The first step of glycolysis involves the enzyme hexokinase. There are variants of hexokinase and most tissues use hexokinase I. Interestingly, the immune cells of the brain, microglia, use hexokinase II. My project will study the effects of different hexokinase II inhibitors on microglial glucose utilization and inflammatory gene expression. I hope to show that hexokinase II inhibitors decrease glycolytic flux and microglial activation, thus proving that these types of drugs are a potential treatment approach for stroke.

Message To Sponsor

I would like to thank my donor for providing me with the resources necessary to participate in a summer research project. This opportunity will enable me to explore my interests in greater depth and gain valuable experience that will serve me well in my future career. I look forward to honing my research skills during this program and continuing to develop them in the future.
Major: MCB Neurobiology and Psychology
Mentor: Raymond Swanson
Sponsor: SURF Rose Hills
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