Due to the increased levels of mercury in our environment there is concern for the negative implications for humans, especially in the case of pregnant women due to the fetus’ enhanced susceptibility to mercury. Recent research suggests mercury causes neuron death by increasing reactive oxygen species and therefore I will attempt to reverse learning and memory damage by exposing subjects to an anti-oxidant, Vitamin E. If this proves to be a viable source of blocking mercury’s toxic effects, it could possibly be used as a preventive measure for humans.
My honors thesis would be near impossible to complete without the Honors Fellowship. Since my advisor, Dr. Hunt, will be on sabbatical next year, this summer is my only opportunity to begin running trials with her physical support in the lab. The Honors Fellowship will allow me to focus all on my attention on my research!
Hometown: Falls Church, VA
Future Plans: After graduation I plan on attending medical school. While I am still keeping all my options open about the field, my love for children has me leaning towards pediatrics.
Campus Activities: Next year I will be president of Circle K International (CKI), a service organization on campus that deals with many different social justice issues. Also, I have spent my last three spring breaks on Branch Out National service trips and can’t wait to be the student director of Branch Out Regional.
Hobbies: I love spending hours in the kitchen attempting to prepare delicacies everyone can enjoy. I have already mastered crepes. I also enjoy traveling and spent last summer in Italy, Spain, France, and Croatia.
Fun Fact: I was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and I loved growing up in a household that not only spoke Bosnian but also lived by our customs!
Follow Ksenija’s research on the W&M Honors Fellowships blog!