As a Brackenridge Fellowship member, I am eagerly looking forward to the valuable learning opportunities that await me this summer. One aspect I am particularly excited about is gaining insight into the research projects of my fellow recipients. Their diverse methodologies, stemming from their unique disciplinary backgrounds, will greatly enhance my understanding of various research techniques. This interdisciplinary environment will expose me to novel approaches and ideas that I wouldn’t typically encounter within my own field. Additionally, I am intrigued by observing how my peers strategize their project progress, including their approaches to time management, goal-setting, and collaboration. I am equally stimulated by the prospect of understanding how they envision applying their research skills to their future career paths.
Among the many captivating projects, one that has caught my attention is being conducted by Roey Dersi, a student in my cohort. His compelling work revolves around contrasting the expression of the LAMP5 gene in postmortem human brain tissue affected by Alzheimer’s disease with healthy counterparts. His focus on the Entorhinal Cortex, the initial site of degradation in Alzheimer’s disease, is particularly noteworthy. Roey Beniluz utilizes techniques such as cryostat sectioning of brain tissue and immunohistochemistry staining to identify LAMP5 expression and other interneurons. Moreover, he employs a confocal microscope to gather tissue images, enabling cell counting and the creation of cell density maps across different layers of the Entorhinal Cortex.
Interestingly, while our techniques share some similarities, they also exhibit stark differences. While I employ a murine model in my research, Roey works with deceased patient tissue. Both approaches aim to enhance patient health through basic scientific research, but the use of human tissue in Roey’s work piques my curiosity. It holds great potential in providing more direct clinical relevance and translatability to the outcomes, which is something I hope to expand upon in my own project.
Working collaboratively with individuals from diverse disciplines promises multiple benefits. Not only will I gain a wide range of perspectives on the importance and relevance of my project, but I will also learn to effectively articulate my research in a way that resonates across different fields. This cross-disciplinary understanding is sure to broaden my intellectual horizons and inspire creative thinking. However, it is important to acknowledge that there may be challenges to overcome when working across disciplines. Communication barriers can arise due to different disciplines having their own specific jargon, terminologies, and communication styles. Therefore, ensuring an open and clear dialogue becomes crucial when engaging in interdisciplinary collaboration. I am really excited in keeping you all informed on my progress throughout this summer!