Eugenia Olesnicky, PhD
- 2009-2011 Post-doctoral training, Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
- 2007-2009 Post-doctoral training, Department of Craniofacial Biology, University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center, Aurora, CO
- 2007 Ph.D. Developmental Genetics, New York University, Graduate School of Arts and Science, New York, NY
- 2005 M.S. Biology, New York University, Graduate School of Arts and Science, New York, NY 2002 B.A. Biology, Drew University, Madison, NJ
Undoubtedly, one of the most profound observations of developmental biology is that each embryo begins as a single cell and has within it all the information necessary to create a complete and functional body plan. Throughout my scientific career I have studied various aspects regarding the dynamics of embryonic development and have utilized multiple model systems and approaches to answer my questions. Neurons are highly polarized cells, with specialized processes for reception and transmission of signals. Although the development of neuronal polarity is essential for neuronal function, its basis is poorly understood. However, it is well established that mechanisms that generate asymmetric protein distributions are essential for such cellular polarity at both the morphological and functional levels. Protein asymmetries can be created through the local control of protein synthesis, involving the transport of translationally silent mRNAs and local activation of these mRNAs at the target destination. In neurons, mRNA localization and translational repression are used to change the protein composition of various regions of the cell, allowing for distinct axonal and dendritic environments that are equipped for their various cellular tasks. My research plan involves characterizing the role of post-transcriptional gene regulation in establishing and maintaining neural circuitry. Post-transcriptional mechanisms such as mRNA localization and local protein translation play an integral role in neuronal morphogenesis and establishing neural connections. The ultimate goal of my work is to increase our understanding of the roles these mechanisms play in neurodegenerative disorders and congenital birth defects affecting the nervous system.
Student Research Projects
- Undergraduate: Student projects are available for both undergraduate and graduate students. Students that are interested in working with Dr. Olesnicky should consult the lab website to see a list of current project and email Dr. Olesnicky directly. Lab website: //www.uccs.edu/eolesnic/
- Graduate: Student projects are available for both undergraduate and graduate students. Students that are interested in working with Dr. Olesnicky should consult the lab website to see a list of current project and email Dr. Olesnicky directly. Lab website: //www.uccs.edu/eolesnic/
Student Research Opportunities
Work in the Olesnicky lab aims to investigate genes that function in RNA regulation, termed RNA binding proteins, that are necessary for neuronal morphogenesis. To accomplish this, we utilize a combination of molecular genetic and biochemical approaches, behavior analyses, and confocal microscopy. We are currently investigating the roles of RNA binding proteins in both the development and maintenance of neurons. Our main focus is understanding the role the RNA binding protein and splicing factor Caper plays within the nervous system. We utilize the Drosophila model system to ask questions about the role of RNA binding proteins in neurogenesis.
Prerequisites for student research projects
- BIOL 1210: Introduction to Molecular & Cell Biology (with permission)
- BIOL 3830: Genetics (preferably)