Adams, Katrina

Katrina is a second year trainee and is in the Molecular Biology IDP.  Her research mentor is Dr. Bennett Novitch.  She received a B.S. degree in 2008 from UC San Diego.

Mentor: Dr. Bennett Novitch

Research project:

Deriving motor neurons from embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells is an exciting new potential therapy for many devastating neurodegenerative diseases. However, little information is currently known about whether stem cell-derived motor neurons actually mimic natural motor neurons. My project aims to characterize and compare embryonic stem cell and induced pluripotent stem cell-derived motor neurons with human embryo-derived motor neurons. In addition, I aim to evaluate the role of the transcription factor Foxp1 in motor neuron formation. Foxp1 has been shown by my lab to be required for the development of limb innervating motor neurons in vivo. By misexpressing Foxp1 and other motor neuron determinants in embryonic stem cells, I hope to diversify the subtypes of motor neurons that can be generated in vitro.