Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Sanjana Shankar L&S Biological Sciences

The Effect of Psychedelics and Sex Differences on Neurodegeneration

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a debilitating disorder that can lead to difficulty thinking, while also disrupting an individual’s ability to carry out bodily functions. With no known cure, those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s live an average of 4-8 years after detection of the disease.

A mutation in a gene known as APOE4 has been implicated as a high risk factor for AD. Specifically, this genotype leads to higher risk of AD in women who are carriers of the gene. However, the mechanisms involved in differences between male and female patients is unclear, and could affect treatment. The foundation of this research project is to understand the sex-dependent biological mechanisms of the APOE4 variant which could be key to developing successful pharmacological interventions.

Ultimately, this study aims to 1. broaden the current understanding of differing biological mechanisms between male and female brain degeneration and 2. aid in successful development of sex-specific, targeted therapeutics.

Message To Sponsor

Carrying out my own research project has been a dream of mine since joining my lab in early 2023. Training to gain the necessary skills to carry out independent research took determination and hard work. I would like to sincerely thank you for helping me realize these efforts this summer. I am confident these research will benefit millions, and I am truly grateful for your support.
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Major: Molecular and Cell Biology, Mathematics
Mentor: Daniela Kaufer
Sponsor: Pergo
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