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Melvin K

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Washington University in St. Louis


Alzheimer's Disease, Neuroinflammation, Circadian Rhythms, Neurodegeneration


Hi, my name is Melvin and I'm a third year graduate student in neuroscience working in the Musiek Lab at Washington University in St. Louis. We work on a number of subjects in the lab, but one of my interests is examining the relationship between circadian function and neurodegeneration. This means using mouse models of neurological disease and doing a variety of stains for various proteins. We can also extract individual cell types from the brain (astrocytes, neurons, microglia) and look at gene expression. Outside of the lab I follow the NFL and NBA pretty closely. I also play a decent amount of basketball, and watch/read quite a bit of sci-fi. I've mentored students (undergrads, graduate students, and high school students) in the past and have really enjoyed just getting to know them and what kind of topics -- scientific or otherwise -- they're interested in!

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Common genes regulated by Microglia and Astrocyte Bmal1

Bmal1 is a transcription factor that controls circadian behavior in mammals. We've performed RNA-sequencing analysis on Bmal-knockout microglia and Bmal-knockout astrocytes separately, but we've never compared the two data sets before. It would be cool to look at what genes are regulated by Bmal1 in both cell types, as well as which genes are regulated separately.

Coding skills

Beginner in R/Rstudio

Teaching experience

-Tutor for organic chemistry in undergrad -GRE tutor during my second year as a postbac at University of Rochester -TA for first year graduate course: Cellular Neuroscience in 2019 -guest lecturer in undergrad 'advanced biology techniques' course in 2021 -mentor for WUSTL Endure Student 2020 and 2021


Work experience

Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine (2018 - Current)
Ph.D. Candidate
University of Rochester Medical Center (2016 - 2018)
PREP Research Fellow
Mirica Lab, Dartmouth Department of Chemistry (2015 - 2016)
Research Intern
Simanek Lab, TCU Department of Chemistry (2015 - 2015)
Research Volunteer


Dartmouth College
BA Bachelor of Arts (2016)
Washington University in St. Louis
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate

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