Current Students—Ryan O'Dell
PhD (5th year)
Department: Neuroscience & Physiology
Advisor: Eric Olson, PhD
Throughout neurodevelopment, multipotent neural stem cells give rise to progeny of a more restricted differential fate, exemplified by pluripotent stem cells and unipotent progenitor cells. My fetal in vitro studies will examine the contributions of genetic and/or extrinsic environmental cues in the fates of pluripotent neural stem cells derived from fetal forebrain. To parse out the intertwined influences of intrinsic and extrinsic factors acting on neural stem cell development, neural stem cell transplantations are carried out in both spatial (homo/heterotopic) and temporal (homo/heterochronic) domains. In addition, these transplant models are used to assess the effect of a previously damaged environment (via ethanol exposure) on neural stem cell proliferative and differential fate, thus determining the interactions of intrinsic and extrinsic cues on neural stem cell development in a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) model of cortical injury.
Dr. Arthur Kornberg (a Nobel prize winner in medicine in 1959) once said, "basic research is the lifeline of medicine." And if I could extend his comment, I would add, "and publication is the lifeline of medical research." I think publishing one's work serves two important roles. The first is to communicate your work to the larger scientific community, and the second is to serve as a landmark for the completion of one aspect of your work, thus providing direction for the future scientific work. As a future physician scientist here at Upstate, I have numerous opportunities to get involved in activities and trainings to improve our skills needed for publications.