Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Seminar Series with guest Speaker: Dr. Sharmila Venugopal
This is a past event.
Friday, October 2 at 9:00amVirtual Event
MODELING NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASE DYNAMICS: FROM ION CHANNELS TO NEURAL MICROCIRCUITS
ABSTRACT: Neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s etc.) affect millions of people around the world and are a growing health concern in aging populations. Their diverse causes and progression rates combined with a lack of early biomarkers have hampered effective treatment strategies. Basic science plays a crucial role in developing a deeper understanding of early disease mechanisms. Particularly, the availability and use of transgenic animal models have enabled close examination of molecular and cellular abnormalities at pre-symptomatic stages, offering valuable insights into the fundamental neurobiology of these complex diseases. Exploiting this opportunity, our lab has taken a unique stride to develop integrative data-driven computational models of a neural circuit and its vulnerability in neurodegeneration. In my talk, I will discuss our recent and ongoing work on computational and mathematical modeling to define disease dynamics, use of a biohybrid technique to integrate models into experiments in real-time, and our novel experimental findings in a devastating neurodegenerative motor neuron disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
DR. SHARMILA VENUGOPAL
is an Assistant Professor in Integrative Biology and Physiology and Life Sciences Core Education at the University of California Los Angeles. She is an Electrical Engineer and Neuroscientist and leads the Neural Dynamics Group at UCLA. Her research integrates computational, experimental, and biohybrid approaches to model neural circuit dynamics in normal and disease-inflicted conditions. She is further committed to education innovation and has developed and taught a state-of-the-art interdisciplinary Math-Biology curriculum for undergraduate life sciences majors at UCLA. She serves on the Board of Directors as the Education and Training Chair for the Organization for Computational Neuroscience, as a member of the Council for Training, Sciences and Infrastructure, a governing body of the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility, and as an advisor for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.