Ilaria Stewart

Characterizing Cell Type Diversity Among Wide-Field Cells

Understanding the diversity of cell types in the brain is critical for understanding how we interact with the world around us. Previous neuroscience research has not clearly defined the cell types that exist among wide-field cells, a population of cells that are critical to the visual integration pathway. Wide-field cells have potentially wide-ranging impacts on human disease, so having a better understanding of the proteins wide-field cells produce could help elucidate the causes of various disorders in humans. I will aim to categorize the biomolecular cell types in genetic mouse lines using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and in situ hybridization (ISH) to monitor the proteins expressed by wide-field cells, as well as the mRNA present in wide-field cells. The activity and downstream connections of wide-field cells are mediated by their expression of proteins. Knowing the molecules wide-field cells express will shed light on their function and connectivity, allowing for the investigation of the visual pathway’s effect on a variety of behaviors in both animal models and humans.

Message to Sponsor

Thank you so much for granting me this opportunity! I can't wait to further explore my interest in neuroscience and to conduct my own project. I look forward to learning from my peers about their projects and sharing my own findings.
  • Major: Molecular and Cell Biology, Neurobiology
  • Sponsor: Rose Hill Foundation
  • Mentor: Angela Matcham, Xin Duan