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Showing posts from January, 2017

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Hello, all!
Greetings from your new Monarch blogger! I’m Lilly, and I will be taking over this blog space to keep you updated about exciting developments being done at the Monarch Initiative. I recently completed my PhD in neuroscience from Oregon Health & Science University, and I am very excited to work with the Monarch team to further study the relationships between genes, phenotypes, and diseases.
During my PhD, I studied how the brain’s innate immune system responds after an injury. Interesting fact: our brain’s immune system is separated from the rest of our body by the blood brain barrier. While white blood cells (leukocytes) patrol our bodies for disease and foreign objects, glial cells defend the brain. Glial cells also have various other functions, including creating myelin (insulation for neurons), and glial cell malfunction can lead to numerous diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis.
I researched how glial cells react to brain injury by performing experiments with the mod…