Megan Le

Mentor: Dr. Matthew Sarkisian
College of Neuroscience
 
"Seeing first hand how research is conducted informs me about the trials and tribulations that go into science and medicine. Working in research will help lead me closer to my goals of pursuing a career in medicine. It also allows me to see how the material I learn in my undergraduate is applied in a lab setting."

Major

Biochemistry

Minor

N/A

Research Interests

  • Neuroscience
  • Pediatric Epilepsy
  • Primary Cilia

Academic Awards

  • HHMI Science for Life Intramural Undergraduate Research Award 2014-2015
  • University Scholars Program Research Award 2015-2016

Organizations

  • Gators for Haven Hospice
  • Alpha Chi Sigma
  • Pre-Health Diplomat

Volunteer

  • Haven Hospice
  • Harbor Chase
  • TOPSoccer

Hobbies and Interests

  • Soccer
  • Hiking
  • Eating

Research Description

Investigation of Anti-Epileptic Drugs on Primary Cilia
Primary cilia are tiny, hair-like projections, which extend from virtually all neurons in the cerebral cortex, with numerous recent publications suggesting they regulate various aspects of neurodevelopment including establishment of brain connectivity. My research project will be examining the potential susceptibility of developing primary cilia to neurotoxic insults, such as epilepsy, and the interaction with anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) used to stop seizures. Preliminary findings in this lab have found that seizures (induced by the chemoconvulsant pentylenetetrazol (PTZ)) during the first postnatal week of life significantly stunt primary cilia in neurons found in the mouse neocortex and hippocampus when compared to animals that received equivalent volumes of saline. Considering the effects of seizures on disrupting cilia outgrowth, it remains to be seen what effect pre-existing therapies for seizures have on cilia outgrowth.