Kevin Charland, M.S.

University of Michigan
Kevin Charland headshot

Kevin Charland is a second-year Ph.D. student in the neuroscience program at Tufts University. He received a bachelor’s degree in integrative neuroscience from SUNY Binghamton and a master’s degree in neuroscience from the University of Hartford. While he began his doctoral work in the Tufts neuroscience program at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, he will be moving to the University of Michigan with the Kaczorowski lab. Hewill remain in the Tufts program as a visiting scholar. Charland’s current research interests include the influences of sex and genetic background in Alzheimer’s disease pathology with a current focus on cortical beta-amyloid 1-42 (Aβ42) pathology. He is also interested in the gut microbiome and its influence on the brain as well as using dietary interventions to help ameliorate various diseases. At Hartford, he received teaching assistantships for biology and anatomy/physiology labs and has experience mentoring undergraduate researchers in the lab he received his master’s degree studying the influences of a ketogenic diet on Alzheimer’s pathology. Additionally, he was awarded the William S. and Dorothy G. Wallace Memorial Award for Academic Achievement in Neuroscience twice during his time at the University of Hartford.

Principal Investigator: Catherine Kaczorowski

Fellow: Verena Wu

Undergraduate Fellow Project: Generation of mouse and human tri-cultures to test genes influencing the observed sex differences in Aβ42 pathology

In this project, we will be generating in vitro tri-cultures of neurons, astrocytes and microglia derived from both genetically diverse mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) isolated from patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Male and female mESCs will be utilized to investigate the influence of sex on various outcomes. hiPSCs will also be used to make organoids to model AD pathology in a 3D system. Cultures will be treated with beta amyloid 1-42 (Aβ42) and used to probe the influences of candidate genes that modify sex-specific differences in Aβ42 pathology. Cellular phenotypes of interest include inflammation, protein homeostasis, cellular senescence, mitochondrial functioning, cellular energetics (NAD+/NADH) and lysosomal functioning. Techniques used in this project will include various molecular assays, viral transfections, live cell imaging, immunocytochemical staining, neuronal functioning, gene expression, protein expression, computational biology, developing/optimizing derivation protocols from stem cells and general cell culturing practices. The ultimate goal of the project is to refine candidate genes identified from analyzing cortical Aβ42 abundance in AD-BXD mice and investigate the mechanisms through which they modify cellular response to Aβ42 pathology in a sex-specific and genetic background-dependent manner.

Advancing Research in Basic Science and MathematicsSubscribe to our newsletters to receive news & updates