Current research suggests a strong link between Alzheimerâ€™s disease and vascular disease. My work focuses on uncovering the relationship between Alzheimerâ€™s disease plaque formation and small-scale strokes. Using immunohistochemical techniques, I will be examining the hypothesis that laser-induced vascular damage leads to the aggregation of new plaques and verifying whether these newly formed plaques are, in fact, composed of amyloid beta, a defining characteristic of Alzheimerâ€™s disease. I am currently optimizing a protocol that will allow us to co-label the vasculature, astrocytes, amyloid beta, etc. in whole brains. Histological results are then analyzed to both verify and expand on the in vivo results obtained after inducing small-scale strokes. In addition to histological techniques, I perform surgical procedures such as craniotomies and perfusions in mice, and I also use our 2-photon microscope to obtain detailed images of the staining in the whole brains. I am currently an undergraduate majoring in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Neurobiology and Behavior. I began working in the Schaffer lab in March 2009. I expect to graduate in May 2011.