I work in the cell culture department helping with in vitro experiments to investigate mechanisms for Alzheimer’s. I grow nerve cells as well as the inflammatory cells of the brain (microglia), whose dysfunction contributes to the disease process. I am particulary interested in curcumin and its role in stimulating clearance of amyloid, much like the vaccine and I am trying to model that effect in vitro, and so far with promising results. I read the literature daily to troubleshoot methods and techniques to optimize the success of my experiments and increase my knowledge of concepts in the field. I feel the need to work here because I have a father with advanced Parkinson’s and mild Alzheimer’s. I know there is no cure all, but maybe with our research we can prevent other’s from the pain my father has to endure and my mother has to watch.
Besides working in a lab trying to keep cells alive, I have a menagerie of rescue dogs. Four dogs and two parrots with a new husband, who also works in Alzheimer research, keeping me plenty busy. Instead of taking a honeymoon with my husband in Hawaii, we spend many all nighters and on weekends, growing nerve cells for the post-doctoral researchers on understanding what makes cells vulnerable to amyloid and how curcumin helps.