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How can the BDNF gene be used as a gene of interest in genetic treatment of major depressive disorder?

Emily
Emily
High School
Rowland High School
Graduation Year
2023
Student review
I didn't expect my mentor to be so helpful in guiding me through the process. I was initially daunted by the thought of doing a whole research project on my own, but I am so so thankful I got the support I needed.

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Project description

As depression rates increase among Americans, neuroscientists seek for more efficient targets for treating major depressive disorder (MDD) by focusing on biological mechanisms. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neurotrophic protein, has been shown to be associated with the development of neuropsychological disorders such as MDD. Thus, BDNF mechanisms are an ideal target in the search for effective treatments for depression, through antidepressants, physical exercise, and gene therapy.

How can the BDNF gene be used as a gene of interest in genetic treatment of MDD?
Project outcome

Currently awaiting publication in the International Youth Neuroscience Association (IYNA) journal.


Nella
Nella
Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Subjects
Stem cells, Genetics (regular), Immunology, Virology, Cancer, Developmental, Behavioral, Mental Health, French, Engineering, Neuroscience
Expertise
Neuroscience, Cellular Biology, viruses, Pharmacology, Addiction, Science Communication, GABA, Dopamine, Neuropharmacology, Substance Abuse, Substance Use Disorders, Neural Circuitry, Mechanisms Underlying Disease, Cellular and molecular biology and developmental biology
Mentor review

Nella helped me in so many ways. First of all, she emphasized throughout that this was an INDEPENDENT research project and that the direction of my paper was entirely in my hands. She did not do the research for me, although she often sent articles she thought would be helpful. Whenever I didn't understand a topic, she would clarify with me. She has gone above and beyond my expectations, and I am truly grateful I matched with her.

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