Loss of NG2 Glia Implicated in Emergence of Depression Symptoms

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 Glia are non-neuronal cells that host and provide a number of homeostatic ancillary functions in both the central (CNS) and peripheral (PNS) nervous systems. Though only recently discovered and characterized, glial cells vastly outnumber neurons and provide them with structural support and insular protection, driving their myelination (the process of forming coverings known as myelin sheaths that coat neurons’ signaling axons), facilitating … Continue reading Loss of NG2 Glia Implicated in Emergence of Depression Symptoms

Monocytes as Potential Targets for Early Intervention of Mild Cognitive Impairment

Thumyat Noe ’23 In addition to the psychological trauma inflicted on responders and survivors of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center (WTC), research has found that this group is experiencing earlier signs of mild cognitive impairment as they age. Currently, scientists do not understand much about the progression of this condition in WTC responders. However, a study headed by Dr. … Continue reading Monocytes as Potential Targets for Early Intervention of Mild Cognitive Impairment

The Power of Painting: Art Therapy for Holocaust Survivors

Peter Gillespie ’25 Trauma during the formative stages of childhood can lead to permanent alterations to the neuroendocrine system, largely impacting one’s responses to stress. Previous brain scans have shown that reflection upon trauma triggers immense emotional activity but little speech-related activity; thus, traumatized individuals may have strong feelings yet are unable to verbalize their emotions. A team led by Roni Israeli at the University … Continue reading The Power of Painting: Art Therapy for Holocaust Survivors

Onions and Garlic May Help Reduce Stomach Cancer Risk

Zhifei Zeng ’23 Stomach cancer, or gastric cancer, is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, and dietary habits play an important role in the development of this cancer. For example, heavy alcohol consumption or high consumption of salt-preserved foods increases the risk of stomach cancer, while diets rich in fruits or vegetables decrease the risk. However, the specific types of vegetables that are … Continue reading Onions and Garlic May Help Reduce Stomach Cancer Risk

Fish Out of Water: Uncovering the Mechanisms for Survival in Extreme Environments

Peter Gillespie ’25 Most fish, when left without water, will simply not survive. However, research from Dr. Chi-Kuo Hu from Stony Brook University reveals how the embryos of the African turquoise killifish can survive eight-month long droughts in a dormant state known as diapause. Diapause is a state of suspended animation during which a fully developed killifish may temporarily halt its development. Dr. Hu and … Continue reading Fish Out of Water: Uncovering the Mechanisms for Survival in Extreme Environments

MRI Brain Mapping of Glymphatic System May Inform AD Diagnostic

Vignesh Subramanian ’24 Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder and form of dementia that causes progressive loss of memory, critical thinking skills, and behavioral capabilities. Among other pathophysiological mechanisms, the disease is characterized by disruptions in the glymphatic system, which is responsible for the facilitation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and interstitial fluid (ISF) exchange driving macroscopic waste and solute clearance. Breakdowns in this clearance … Continue reading MRI Brain Mapping of Glymphatic System May Inform AD Diagnostic

From Sugars to Medicine: Advancements in Selective Carbohydrate Modification

Peter Gillespie ’25 What if simple sugars could be turned into vital medicines? Dr. Ming-Yu Ngai and his team at Stony Brook University are making this dream a reality.  Due to their relevance in cell-cell recognition, protein folding, inflammation, and infection, carbohydrate modification poses an intriguing avenue through which scientists can treat issues from viral infection to malfunctions in protein folding. Changing the character of … Continue reading From Sugars to Medicine: Advancements in Selective Carbohydrate Modification

Newly Discovered Functions of MAIT Cells Suggests a Possible Target for Immunotherapy and Vaccine Treatments

Sooraj Shah ’24 While much focus has been given to the COVID-19 pandemic, autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, also affect seven percent of the American population. Recent research suggests a potential link between mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells and the two diseases, as both COVID-19 and autoimmune diseases trigger increased MAIT cell response. A study led by Dr. Charles Vorkas, a professor in the Department … Continue reading Newly Discovered Functions of MAIT Cells Suggests a Possible Target for Immunotherapy and Vaccine Treatments

An Enzyme-Activating Protein may be a Switch for Invasive Cancer

Zhifei Zeng ’23 Many breast cancer (BC) patients suffer from complications of metastatic disease. In order to form metastasis, cancer cells must switch from a proliferative to an invasive state and overcome several physical barriers to reach another site. Interestingly, increased invasiveness of the tumor is accompanied by a decrease in its cell proliferation capacity. For breast cancer, some proteins may help this proliferative-to-invasive switch … Continue reading An Enzyme-Activating Protein may be a Switch for Invasive Cancer

Making Magic in Medical Settings: How Magic May Improve the Patient-Student Connection

Thumyat Noe ’23 Many medical students often find themselves feeling emotionally detached from the illness experiences of patients. To combat this sentiment, medical education curricula recommend that students gain clinical immersion experience early to enhance students’ awareness of the patient experience. Past clinical findings suggest that performing magic acts as part of clinical immersion experience can further improve relations between medical staff and child patients. … Continue reading Making Magic in Medical Settings: How Magic May Improve the Patient-Student Connection

Investigating Interleukin-17 Activity: One Step Closer to Treating Crohn’s Disease?

Sooraj Shah ’24 About 3 million Americans have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), with foreboding statistics indicating a rise in the disease’s prevalence. Crohn’s disease debilitates a patient through inflammation of the digestive tract, leading to severe pain and cramping in the abdominal area. The inflammation associated with the IBD is a response to invading pathogens by a … Continue reading Investigating Interleukin-17 Activity: One Step Closer to Treating Crohn’s Disease?

The Role of OCD in Oral Health of Affected Individuals

Thumyat Noe ’23 Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder characterized by disturbing thoughts and repetitive behaviors. Presentations of OCD include excessive cleaning and extreme fixation with symmetry or order. Psychiatrists treat OCD through prescribing antidepressants and selective serotonin uptake inhibitors. According to previous studies, mental health disorders can reduce oral health by increasing inflammatory biomarkers. However, OCD patients exhibit unique obsessions with cleaning … Continue reading The Role of OCD in Oral Health of Affected Individuals