Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences (BCAS)

Date of Last Revision

2023-05-03 16:49:00



Honors Course


Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2021


Spinal cord injury results in significant disability and health care costs due to an inability of the mature central nervous system to regenerate. One potential therapy would be implantation of neural stem cells to the injury site and stimulation of their differentiation to mature neurons. Previous work has shown that the cytokine interferon-gamma can promote this process; however, the signaling pathways induced in neural stem cells have not been well-defined. This proposal examines neural stem cell metabolic responses to signaling induced by interferon-gamma. Two questions will be answered: i) What specific metabolic pathway is activated to guide neural stem cell differentiation? and ii) Is oxidative phosphorylation used as a primary source for ATP generation after being exposed to interferon-gamma? Neural stem cells will be exposed to hydrogel immobilized or soluble interferon-gamma. Metabolites will be extracted and measured with global untargeted metabolomics by using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Once these questions are answered, then therapeutic pathways can be activated to stimulate repair of damaged spinal cord tissues by stem cells. At the completion of this project, I will have so much knowledge about different laboratory techniques that I will use to further my education in graduate school.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Leah Shriver

First Reader

Dr. Catherine Konopka

Second Reader

Dr. David Modarelli

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Brian Bagatto



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