My research tests the effects of alterations in red blood cell physiology on cerebral blood flow of which one particular disease of interest is sickle cell disease (SCD). SCD is caused by a mutation in a hemoglobin gene that causes red blood cells to become rigid and crescent-shaped, increasing vascular flow resistance. Changes in blood flow are quantified using two-photon laser microscopy to image vasculature in mouse models of SCD. I am also examining the expression and regulation of Lutheran (Lu) blood group and Basal Cell Adhesion Molecule (BCAM) antigens in mouse models of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) and SCD. MPNs are diseases of the bone marrow that result in the overproduction of cells such as red blood cells, platelets and/or leukocytes. Lu/BCAM may play a role in the abnormal adhesion of red blood cells to the vascular endothelium and contribute to vaso-occlusive crises. I am an undergraduate majoring in Biological Engineering and plan to graduate in May 2015.