ZUERCHER, JULIAName: Julia Zuercher
Title of Project: 
Connecting Energy Metabolism and Neurodegeneration: Pyruvate Kinase and Oxidative Stress
Advisor: Lisa Landino
Honors Department: Chemistry

I will study how oxidative stress affects pyruvate kinase, an important enzyme in metabolism. As we age, oxidative stress increases in cells, a condition linked to neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimers and Parkinsons. Pyruvate kinase may be able to buffer the oxidative effects by shielding itself and other molecules involved in neurodegeneration from oxidative damage.

Hometown: Glen Allen, Virginia 
Hobbies: When I’m not in classes, I love to run. I ran my first marathon last year, and will start training this summer for the next one. Also, I love anything animal-related. I grew up riding horses, and I volunteer at the local animal shelter on weekends here in Williamsburg. Currently, I’m in the process of applying to veterinary school.
Fun Fact: My favorite animal is the pygmy fainting goat. My dream is to live on a farm with horses, cows, pigs, chickens, and, of course, goats.


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