Sophie’s Summer Service Experience

This summer I spent two weeks as a volunteer research assistant to Dr. Markel Allaberia at a the Goldman Lab at Columbia University. The Goldman Lab works specifically on Alexander’s Disease, a fatal neuro degenerative disease similar to MS found in young children. With Dr. Allaberia, we extracted the spinal cords to diseased and healthy mice and immuno stained the spinal cord slices. We stained the spinal cords for myelin basic protein (MBP), a protein essential for oligodendrocyte function, Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), what is believed to be indicator of Alexander’s Disease, and the DNA, so we could locate each individual cell. After performing the stains twice, we looked at the slides under the microscope and obtained the image below.

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All the blue is DNA, in order to isolate each individual cell, the red is MBP, and the green is (GFAP). The work I did with Dr. Allaberia was very preliminary. Most researchers of Alexander’s Disease study the brain, however Dr. Allaberia wanted to see the results of similar stains that he usual preforms on the brain on the spinal cord, as it is essential part of the nervous system.

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