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24/7: Researching Protein Mutation Linked to Neurogenesis

Evidence exists that ties a specific protein family to neurogenesis—the growth and development of neurons—and it has been linked to many neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia.

Biology and Neuroscience
Faculty mentor: Jennifer Round

“There’s this parallel between neurogenesis defects in schizophrenia and certain protein mutations in schizophrenia, suggesting that it is actually involved in neurogenesis,” says Jordyn Karliner ’18.

This summer, Karliner is examining the expression of that protein in zebrafish, a model organism because it has a similar nervous system development to humans. 

“This research could present more information that could lead to something bigger, so if we know that the protein has something to do with neurogenesis, we can build off of that and find exactly where in the process it plays a role,” Karliner says. 

It’s research that can have a profound impact on the scientific community, and Karliner is excited to have the opportunity to play her part in the discovery as an Ursinus undergraduate.