Shila Manandhar

Neurogenesis from Neuroglia

Neurogenesis, the process by which new neurons form, was thought to be impossible in mature brains for most of the 20th century. However, recent studies have found that neurogenesis in intact adult brains does occur in specific regions. I will be studying neurogenesis in vitro using neuroglial cells, which are neuron supporting cells, by treating them with Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) and Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF). Following treatment, I will perform functional tests to evaluate the extent to which these factors were able to promote the transdifferentiation of these neuroglial cells into functional neurons. Learning the pathway to inducing neurogenesis could ultimately lead to important implications for the treatments of countless neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease.

Message to Sponsor

Having the opportunity to focus on my research full time this summer is an amazing opportunity. I have come to find the research I have done so far to be both extremely challenging and rewarding. Participating in research has given me the opportunity to explore many questions that go beyond what is taught in the classroom in an attempt to get closer to the answers. While I do not always get the results I desire, which at times can be extremely frustrating, I know that that is just a part of the research process and instead of letting it get me down I look for alternative explanations to provide insight, which makes the whole experience even more exciting.
  • Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Mentor: Paola Timiras, Molecular and Cell Biology