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Esther Sim

Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona | Graduation Date: Spring 2020
Biomedical Engineering

Generation of an Inducible CRISPR/dCas9-KRAB System to Modulate Gene Expression

Mentor: David Brafman
FURI: Fall 2018

Current in-vitro Alzheimer’s disease (AD) models fail to recapitulate the critical risk factor of age because they yield immature neuronal populations that exhibit gene expression more closely resembling a fetal brain rather than adult tissue. This project aims to develop an inducible CRISPR/dCas9-KRAB system that will repress genes negatively correlated with age (RANBP17, LAMA3, and PCDH10) to effectively induce aged phenotypes into current disease models. This would ultimately improve the extent to which the in-vivo environment can be modeled. With further development, this research can be used to better understand AD and create more effective treatments for patients.

Other Projects

Generation of an Inducible CRISPR/dCas9-KRAB System to Modulate Gene Expression

Mentor: David Brafman
FURI: Spring 2018

Current in-vitro Alzheimer’s disease models fail to recapitulate the critical risk factor of age because they yield immature neuronal populations that exhibit gene expression more closely resembling that of fetal brain tissue rather than adult tissue. This project aims to develop an inducible CRISPR/dCas9-KRAB system that will repress the pluripotency marker OCT4 to lead to differentiation toward the neuroectodermal lineage. This system will then be used to repress genes negatively correlated with age (RANBP17, LAMA3, and PCDH10) in order to effectively induce aged phenotypes into current disease models, thus improving the extent to which they model the in-vivo environment.