Fatima Shaerzadeh

Fatima is a post-doctoral associate at the Khoshbouei Lab where her research interests are to study the role of microglia, the most dominant cell population in the brain, in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disorders, neurological disease and also healthy brain aging. She also wants to study their interaction with specific types of neurons whose depletion is related to neurodegenerative disorders.

In a previous study in Dr Khoshbouei’s lab, interestingly we found that microglia/dopamine neurons ratio in the SNc is less compared to the VTA. SNc neurodegeneration is associated with initiation and progression of PD. Accordingly, our aim is to define whether during the processes of aging in healthy brain, the ratio of dopaminergic neurons to microglia and subsequently the microglial support alters.

During my PhD, I used a rat model of AD to analyze molecular interactions occurring in the brain as a result of exposure to amyloidB. In Dr. Khoshbouei lab, I have extended my abilities in the field of neuroscience by learning about confocal microscopy, microglia primary culture, iPSC neural differentiation and Ca2+ imaging. Also, I have gained expertise in immunohistochemistry under supervision of Dr Streit who is well known in the neuroanatomy and immunohistochemistry field. Based upon my prior experience and through co-mentorship of Dr. Khoshbouei and Dr. Streit, I am confident that my work will continue to positively influence the field of the neuroscience.