Katie Volk ’18 Presents Study on Alzheimer’s Disease Katie Volk ’18 will give a seminar on her doctoral dissertation research on March 16 at 5 p.m. in the Science Addition Room 214.
The Neuroscience Program at Washington and Lee University will welcome Katie Volk ’18 back to campus to give a seminar on her doctoral dissertation research on March 16 at 5 p.m. in the Science Addition Room 214.
The talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled “The Iron Man of the Brain: A Role for Microglia in Alzheimer’s Disease.”
Volk is currently working on her doctorate in neuroscience at Vanderbilt University. While visiting W&L this week, Volk will also assist her former research mentor, Natalia Toporikova, assistant professor of biology, by co-teaching a unit in Toporikova’s data science course. Volk will share her dissertation data with the students and allow them to work with actual data from a cutting-edge molecular study on Alzheimer’s disease.
“Her visit is a great example of an alumna giving back and truly enriching our curriculum,” said Sarah Blythe, associate professor of biology at W&L. “It’s also a great teaching experience for Katie. Many doctoral candidates at R1 schools struggle to find high-quality teaching experiences. I’m so happy that Dr. Toporikova and Katie could form this mutually beneficial collaboration.”
Toporikova and Volk have been collaborating on the project for two years.
“Katie’s skill and dedication led to a first-author publication during her senior year,” said Blythe. “The data Katie collected even contributed to follow-up publication in 2020 by two other neuroscience majors at W&L.”
In the coming years, the university’s Neuroscience Program intends to continue reaching out to alumni and promoting lifelong learning and engagement with W&L students.
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