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Lehigh University logo
Lehigh University logo

Lauren Boller

IGF-I Promotes the Development of Epilepsy through Activation of Akt-mTOR Cascade

Department: Bioengineering
Advisor: Yevgeny Berdichevsky

View: UGRS Research Poster (PDF)

Abstract:
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major risk factor for the development of epilepsy, or epileptogenesis. Approximately 1.5 million people in the United States sustain a TBI annually. Insulin-like Growth Factor-I (IGF-I) is found in the cerebrospinal fluid of healthy individuals, and following head injury, IGF-I levels are elevated in the brain tissue. Akt-mTOR and MAPK are downstream targets of IGF-I signaling that are activated after brain injury.  However, both brain injury and mTOR are linked to epilepsy, raising the possibility that IGF-I may be epileptogenic.  Here, we considered the role of IGF-1 in development of epilepsy after TBI using controlled cortical impact (CCI) in vivo model of brain trauma and organotypic hippocampal cultures in vitro model of epileptogenesis. We found that IGF-I signaling activated the Akt-mTOR pathway after brain injury, and contributed to epileptogenesis.Modulation of the IGF-I-Akt-mTOR signaling may form the basis of new antiepileptic treatments.

About Lauren Boller:
Lauren Boller is a senior at Lehigh University pursuing a B.S. in Bioengineering. Lauren has worked with Dr. Berdichevsky since January 2014 and was named a Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholar, an award that honors women engineers interested in research. With a strong interest in biomaterials and tissue engineering, Lauren plans to pursue her PhD in Bioengineering following graduation. Aside from her studies, Lauren is a member of the Society of Women Engineers and Pi Beta Phi.