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Jennifer Angelo

Adaptation of a Neural Stem Cell Line to Study Cytoskeletal Instability

Department: Bioengineering
Advisor: Sabrina Jedlicka

View: UGRS Research Poster (PDF)

Abstract:
Significant strides have been made in advancing the understanding of regulatory mechanisms in neurogenesis. Numerous players are involved in a highly coordinated sequence of steps that contribute to neurogenesis, such as growth factors, alternative splicing mechanisms, epigenetic regulators and many other functional regulators and mediators. Advancing the scientific understanding of these mechanisms, both in vivo and in vitro, is crucial to developing new therapies to treat and/or understand diseases that target specific populations of cells in the central nervous system. In vitro processes are of particular interest in regenerative medicine, due to the potential of using neural stem cells (NSCs) as therapeutic agents for replacing diseased or damaged neurons. Developing a more thorough understanding of regulatory mechanisms and crucial in vitro stimuli associated with differentiation will allow for enhanced control of in vitro differentiation processes, potentially leading to viable therapies.  The long-term objective of this study is to study how cytoskeletal instability during cell division can be modulated through surface interactions.  In the short term, cell lines are being developed to allow for live cell analysis of cytoskeletal processes during division and development in vitro, using genetic engineering to create cells that express fluorescent markers consistent with the cytoskeleton, including actin, tubulin, nestin, and doublecortin.  This cell line development will allow for further study on how in vitro extracellular mechanical stimuli influence cell behavior, further advancing the ability to engineer systems to control this behavior in a robust fashion.

About Jennifer Angelo:
Jennifer is a senior at Lehigh pursuing a B.S. in Bioengineering on the Biomechanics/Biomaterials track. In 2014, she worked in Professor Bryan Berger’s lab to develop nanoparticles for water purification via biosynthesis. Currently, she is in the lab of Professor Sabrina Jedlicka, where she has been researching cytoskeletal mechanics during neural stem cell differentiation. Outside of academics, Jennifer is involved in Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, and the TRAC Writing Fellows program. She is from Doylestown, PA and will be moving to the New York City area after graduation to work in technical sales and consulting.