By: Jacob Parres-Gold
For the last three years at Cal State LA, I have worked in the lab of Dr. Yixian Wang. Our project aims to study the role of the protein alpha-synuclein in the death of neurons associated with Parkinson’s disease. We study how alpha-synuclein aggregates and how these aggregates interact with and damage the cell membrane. We have done this using the relatively new methods of scanning ion conductance microscopy (SICM) and surface plasmon resonance microscopy (SPRM). Ultimately, we aim to understand the mechanisms leading to cell death in Parkinson’s disease to inform the development of therapeutic strategies.