My project focuses on validating novel treatment strategies for Rett syndrome and MECP2 Duplication syndrome. These are two debilitating neurodevelopmental disorders that are caused by either a loss-of-function mutation or duplication of the MECP2 gene, which codes for the transcriptional regulator Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2. We have shown that expression of the metabotropic glutamate receptor 7 (mGlu7) is altered downstream of changes in MECP2 gene dosage. I am particularly interested in understanding how mGlu7 function is altered in these disease contexts and to evaluate the therapeutic potential of fine-tuning mGlu7 activity with small molecule allosteric modulators. To do this, I perform genetic and pharmacological manipulations in mouse models of Rett syndrome and MECP2 Duplication syndrome using a combination of techniques that include biochemistry, brain slice electrophysiology and rodent behavior.
Graduate Student, Conn and Niswender laboratories
BS, Miami University (2014)