Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good

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Marilyn Day

Parlee Center Alumni Fellow

My ultimate career goal is to work to discover new ways to treat neurological disorders by investigating the molecular and cellular causes of nervous system development. I currently research this at Ursinus and I want to continue this type of research after I graduate by getting my PhD in molecular, cellular, or developmental neurobiology. I hope to become a prominent figure in this research field as well as to advocate for the rights of, and societal respect for, those with mental disabilities and other developmental handicaps. The Parlee Center has helped me to both shape and pursue these goals by teaching me about the importance of making connections between society and scientific discovery. Additionally, being a Parlee Center fellow has given me leadership and critical thinking skills that are essential for my future career path.

My Major / Minor / Campus Organizations

Major in Biology / Minor in Neuroscience / Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, Summer Fellows, Best Buddies 

My Favorite Parlee Center Events

<– Click on the links to the left! 

My Research

I work in Dr. Jennifer Round’s lab to investigate the role of the Slitrk1 protein in spinal cord wiring using immunohistology and confocal microscopy. In addition to identifying the cell types that Slitrk1 is located in, I am also investigating its role in neuronal survival. The zebrafish nervous system is assembled very similarly to the way that the human nervous system is built, so this research gives us a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of human nervous system development. This information could potentially be useful for creating new treatments for nervous system disorders in the future. I participated in the Summer Fellows program in the summer of 2014 and have presented my research at the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience poster presentation at the National Society for Neuroscience Conference in Washington, D.C. in November, 2014.

This past summer, I was part of the Amgen Scholars program and worked in Dr. Michael Levine’s laboratory in the department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA to study Huntington’s disease. I used pharmacology, electrophysiology, and optogenetics to study the role of 3 receptors in modulating striatal GABAergic neurotransmission in Huntington’s diseases to better understand the mechanisms of this disease. This type of research is essential for development of treatment options. 

My Parlee Center Fellow Courses

SOC-256 (Sociology: Other Minorities); BIO-350 (American Food Supply; POL-399 (Science and the Common Good); IDS-256 (Decoding Science) 

Life After Ursinus

My passion is to research the mechanisms of nervous system development to create new treatments for neurological disorders and to advocate for those with mental and developmental disabilities. I plan to get a PhD in neurobiology.