Jessica Caushi '21

Jessica Caushi

Major: Integrative Neuroscience
Bio: I am a New Yorker – born and raised. As a Junior at Fordham LC I am pursuing a degree in Integrative Neuroscience with a concentration in cell and molecular. After Fordham I aspire to continue my education through medical school.

Title of Research: Elucidating the Epigenetic Map for kcc2, the Gene Responsible for Inhibitory Function in Neurons
Eveline Murphy-Wilson
Dr. Alma Rodenas
Scientists know that the activation of a gene called kcc2 is required for turning on inhibitory function, but the cellular mechanisms that trigger its activation are unknown. One possibility is that during development, epigenetic mechanisms promote transcription of the kcc2 gene, in turn, initiating inhibition. We hypothesize that the activation of kcc2 relies on epigenetic marks that undergo changes from a repressive state, where neurons are excitatory, to an activated state, where they become inhibitory. My goal for this project is to elucidate the map of the epigenetic marks of kcc2 before and after the gene is turned on in the spinal cord neurons of zebrafish.