Honors Fellowships

Eileen Ablondi

Ablondi, EileenName: Eileen Ablondi
Title of Project:
 GABAergic cell fate determination in Xenopus laevis
Advisor: Margaret Saha
Honors Department: Biology

A functional nervous system must contain the appropriate balance of excitatory and inhibitory neurons, with misregulation of this patterning implicated in schizophrenia, autism, and epilepsy. My research will investigate how cells aquire a GABAergic (inhibitory) phenotype by focusing on the regulation of a gene called gad1.1, as well as on spontaneous calcium activity that occurs within developing cells.

The Honors Fellowship will allow me to devote my entire summer to this research; I will be able to completely focus on my project, without having to plan my lab time around schoolwork or extracurricular activities. I will also be attending and presenting my research at the Society for Neuroscience Symposium this coming fall, an opportunity made possible in part by this fellowship.

Hometown: Conway, Arkansas
Majors: Neuroscience and English
Future Plans: PhD. program in molecular/cell biology, career in developmental neurobiology research
Hobbies: Reading, dancing, and yoga
Fun Fact: The summer before college, I spent eight days whitewater rafting on the Grand Canyon!


Follow Eileen’s research on the W&M Honors Fellowships blog!