Calvin Kersbergen


The human brain is dependent upon continuous cerebral blood flow. When blood flow is severely interrupted, brain function diminishes rapidly and permanent damage to the brain occurs within minutes. In both human and mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease, patients have shown a 30% decrease in overall cerebral blood flow, which could be due to the increased leukocyte-endothelial interactions and capillary stalling found in our mouse models of the disease. Through in vivo imaging via two-photon excited fluorescence microscopy, I am looking at how vascular oxidative stress and increased inflammation in Alzheimer’s brains leads to increased leukocyte adhesion to the vascular endothelium, the duration of leukocyte adhesion and resulting capillary blood flow stalling, and novel methods to eliminate leukocyte stalling that could serve a future clinical role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. I am an undergraduate majoring in Biological Engineering and plan to graduate in May 2014. I am a Cornell Tradition Fellow and am participating in the Engineering Learning Initiatives Progam.

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