Steven Henning, a Biology Honors Program student in Assistant Professor Veena Prahlad’s lab in the Department of Biology, will present his research at the Research in the Capitol day on March 26, 2013.
Henning’s research is on protein aggregation, which is a result of the misfolding of proteins within cells. Protein aggregation is associated with a number of neurodegenerative illnesses including Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and others. Although repair mechanisms exists within cells that can alleviate aggregation, in the case of disease, they aren’t activated.
Henning and the Prahlad Lab proposes that the thermosensory neurons are what inhibits the repair mechanism from being activated when an organism experiences chronic stress (disease).
By modulating neuronal pathways that normally inhibit the activation of the repair mechanism in disease patients, it is hoped that misfolding can be greatly suppressed and serve as therapy for individuals who suffer from neuorodegenerative illnesses.
Research in the Capitol is a day dedicated to allowing Honors Program students from the three public universities in Iowa present their research to state officials and reporters. For more information about Research in the Capitol, please visit http://www.uiowa.edu/icru/conf_capitol.shtml
You can also learn more about research in the Prahlad Lab at http://www.biology.uiowa.edu/faculty_info.php?ID=2295