Maya Amjadi – Department of Medicine
Mentor: Miriam Shelef, MD, PhD
Presentation: Longitudinal antibody profiles in SARS-CoV-2 convalescent serum
Maya is finishing her fourth year in the Medical Scientist Training Program and joined Dr. Miriam Shelef’s lab last year to begin her graduate research. She works in Dr. Shelef’s lab which studies antibodies with many projects focusing on the role of autoantibodies in the development of age-related autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Last year, they developed the COVID-19 Convalescent Biorepository so that researchers can study the immune response to SARS-CoV-2. Maya is interested in how antibodies can be pathologic and protective and how antibody levels are associated with risk factors including age and sex.
Andrew Sung – Biomolecular Chemistry
Mentors: Jim Keck, PhD and David Pagliarini, PhD
Presentation: Unraveling mitochondrial respiratory complex I assembly through complexome profiling
Andrew is a third-year graduate student co-mentored by Dave Pagliarini and Jim Keck. His thesis project focuses on elucidating the biochemical mechanisms of mitochondrial respiratory complex I assembly, beginning with the initial stages of assembly. A deeper understanding of this process will advance our knowledge of mitochondrial metabolism and dysfunction as a key player in aging and age-related disease vulnerability.
Amanda Vanderplow – Comparative Biosciences
Mentor: Michael Cahill, PhD
Presentation: Maternal sleep disordered breathing during pregnancy is a previously unrecognized facilitator of autism-relevant neuronal and behavioral aberrations in the offspring
Amanda graduated with a B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in French from Aquinas College in 2014. Prior to joining the Cahill Lab, she received a Master of Biology at Northern Michigan University in 2017. During her time at Northern, she successfully characterized the anatomical expression of a novel neuropeptide, TMEM35, in the hamster brain, defining sex differences in expression. Further, she described the effects of ovarian hormones on anatomical expression patterns (PI: Dr. Valerie Hedges). Currently, she is a fourth year grad student working in Dr. Michael Cahill’s lab, where her work focuses on elucidating the molecular and biochemical mechanisms regulating dendritic spine plasticity in normal and healthy brains, and how these synaptic alterations contribute to specific disease associated behavioral phenotypes. Outside of lab, she likes to hang out with her cats, travel, run, ride her bike, play cribbage, and take naps.
Jeremy Kratz, MD – Department of Medicine
Mentor: Dustin Deming, MD
Presentation: Integrating subclonal response heterogeneity to define cancer organoid sensitivity
Dr. Kratz is a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dustin Deming. His research investigates techniques for developing translational tools to advance the practice of precision oncology for geriatric patients with gastrointestinal cancers. The goal of his work is to develop techniques as a correlative biomarker to predict response for an individual patient. Geriatric patients represent 15% of those enrolled in prospective oncology studies while accounting for 70% of cancer-related mortality. Tuning therapies with improved therapeutic activity is necessary to avoid added toxicities from ineffective therapies. This includes prospective investigations of cancer spheroids assessed by change in growth and metabolism from the University of Wisconsin’s Precision Medicine Molecular Tumor Board.
Katie Osterbauer – Nutritional Sciences
Mentors: Adam Kuchnia, PhD and Rozalyn Anderson, PhD
Presentation: Adiponectin receptor activation impacts skeletal muscle aging in mice
Katie Osterbauer is from Rice Lake, Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BS in Nutritional Sciences, then went on to get her Master’s in Nutrition at the University of Washington-Seattle. Some of her research interests include interaction of nutrition to one’s risk of development of chronic diseases. She is currently in Dr. Adam Kuchnia’s lab looking at how nutrition impacts muscle health and working to develop useful imaging techniques that could be used to improve malnutrition diagnosis and predict treatment outcomes in the clinical setting
Kyle Edmunds, PhD – Department of Medicine
Mentor: Ozioma Okonkwo, PhD
Presentation: Investigating the roles of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, cardiorespiratory fitness, and sleep in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease
Dr. Edmunds’ interests are centered on the investigation of putative risk and resilience factors for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In particular, he is focused on developing a multifaceted understanding of neurodegenerative disease through exploring AD biomarker analysis, PET neuroimaging, cognitive neuropsychology, and psychosocial and lifestyle factors that contribute to healthy brain aging. In this regard, an improved understanding of genetic risk for AD and commensurate interactions between AD biomarkers, cognition, and malleable lifestyle factors could improve the diagnostic accuracy of preclinical AD and inform novel targets for clinical intervention.
Yang Yeh, PhD – Department of Medicine
Mentor: Dudley Lamming, PhD
Presentation: Geriatric mice are leaner and have improved glucose tolerance after dietary isoleucine restriction
Dr. Yeh is a postdoc in the research laboratory of Dudley William Lamming. He joined the community in UW-Madison recently as part of the Aging Biology T32 training program in late 2020. His primary interest is in the extension of human longevity. Yang’s approach is to leverage the several highly efficacious diets as tools to understand the interaction between metabolic mechanisms and the aging process, with hopes of eventually creating a more durable system.
Maeghan Murie-Mazariegos – Department of Medicine
Mentor: Luigi Puglielli, MD, PhD
Presentation: ATase inhibition resolves age-associated proteotoxicity of the secretory pathway
Maeghan is a PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Training Program and predoctoral trainee on the Biology of Aging and Age-Related Disorders T32 Training Grant working in the laboratory of Dr. Luigi Puglielli. She is also a member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma. The aim of Maeghan’s work is to characterize the structural and biochemical properties of ATase1 and ATase2, which will help us dissect important molecular aspects of the ER acetylation machinery and identify novel compounds for translational application in the fields aging and AD.
Chris Morrow – Neuroscience
Mentor: Darcie Moore, PhD
Presentation: Aggresome mediated neural stem cell activation
Neural stem cells are precursors for generating neurons in the mammalian brain throughout life; however, the rate of neuron production dramatically decreases after early development, heavily limiting the ability of the adult brain to regenerate after injury. Recent evidence suggests that the age-dependent decline in newborn neuron production is tied to a failure to effectively clear dysfunctional proteins. Chris’s work has uncovered a novel role for the protein vimentin in coordinating protein clearance and maintaining cellular effective protein handling in stem cells – offering new mechanistic insights into neuronal generation.
Kayla Kaeppler – Nutritional Sciences
Mentor: Sherry Tanumihardjo, PhD
Presentation: Anthocyanin and Lycopene Contents do not Affect Beta-Carotene Bioefficacy from Multicolored Carrots (Daucus carota L.) in Male Mongolian Gerbils
Kayla is a 4th year Ph.D. student who is simultaneously working towards becoming a registered dietitian in the Department of Nutritional Sciences. She works in the Tanumihardjo lab, which investigates two main foci: Vitamin A assessment methodology and carotenoid bioavailability. Kayla’s thesis work aims to assess the impact of simultaneous ingestion of various bioactive phytonutrients, specifically anthocyanins and other carotenoids, on the bioefficacy of the provitamin A carotenoid beta-carotene.
Taylor Schoen – Medical Microbiology & Immunology
Mentors: Anna Huttenlocher, MD and Nancy Keller, PhD
Presentation: Investigating the function of GPR132 (G2A) in wound healing and infection
Taylor is a third-year graduate student in Comparative Biomedical Sciences in the Huttenlocher and Keller labs, where she uses zebrafish to study the function of the lipid receptor GPR132 in polarization of immune cells and tissue regeneration. The goal of this work is to improve therapies for the treatment of infections and skin wounds in the aging population, through a deeper understanding of the signals driving inflammation during wound healing and host defense. Ms. Schoen’s favorite thing about my research is the beautiful live-imaging of zebrafish larvae!
Celeste Sheftel – Nutritional Sciences
Mentor:Laura Hernandez, PhD
Presentation: Peripartal sertraline’s effects on maternal and fetal bone health
Celeste Sheftel is in Laura Hernandez’s lab studying lactation physiology, focusing primarily on the mechanisms involved in SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, antidepressant)-mediated bone loss during pregnancy and lactation.
Karly Cody – Department of Medicine
Mentor: Sterling Johnson, PhD
Presentation: Associations of amyloid, tau, and neurodegeneration cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers and longitudinal cognitive decline in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease
Karly Cody is a third year neuroscience PhD student and TL1 scholar at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. She received her undergraduate degree from Emory University. Her research applies emerging fluid and neuroimaging biomarkers to investigate relationships between Alzheimer’s disease pathophysiology and neuropsychological measures of cognitive decline.
Hannah Foster, PhD – Department of Medicine
Mentor: Matt Merrins, PhD
Presentation: Heightened GIP responsiveness in aged alpha-cells
Type 2 diabetes rates are increasing throughout the U.S., particularly among aging populations; however, the majority of diabetes research has been completed using young animals and focusing mainly on the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. In recent years, Hannah and others have established that the health of other cell types in the pancreas, in particular those that secrete the hormone glucagon, are important for overall pancreatic function during aging. Her recent studies indicate and the failure of those glucagon producing cells may also contribute development of T2D, opening up new possibilities for novel interventions and drug development.
Jericha Mill – Chemistry
Mentor: Lingjun Li, PhD
Presentation: Erythrocytes as a biomarker source for Alzheimer’s disease
Jericha is a third-year analytical chemistry doctoral student. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Butler University in Indianapolis, IN, where she studied volatile organic compounds in the conservation science lab at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. After graduation, she spent a year working for Corteva Agrisciences as an analyst in the Environmental Fate and Metabolism lab. Both of her research experiences fueled her interest in small molecule mass spectrometry, which she now applies to Alzheimer’s disease research in the Lingjun Li lab. In her spare time, she applies her personal experiences with AD and her research experience as a volunteer Ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Association.