Emma PollnerResearch Assistant
Biomolecular Science and Psychology
University of Michigan
I am interested in the modulation of memory and the effects that major surgery has on cognition. At the University of Michigan, where I received a Bachelor of Science in Biomolecular Science and Psychology, I was a member of the Tronson Lab where we investigated the effects of immune system depression on the physiology of the brain and mouse behavior. I have continued my work here at the Sandberg Lab looking at the mechanisms of cognitive decline associated with sudden ovarian hormone loss due to elective oophorectomy with exercise as a possible therapy for cognitive protection. I will be working alongside Dr. Stephen Wright assisting with both animal and human projects. We will be assessing cognition after sudden ovarian hormone loss in female rats using a 12-arm Radial Arm Maze. We will use forced running wheels to mimic exercise intervention in humans and determine if it has an effect on cognition in rats. We will also be beginning a human study looking at cognition in women who carry the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene that will elect to have bilateral prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomies. My future goals include going to medical school. I hope to apply the information learned through my research to patients suffering from memory deficits as a result of major surgery or disease, specifically Epilepsy.