Congratulations go out to Jennifer Jahncke, a third-year PhD student in the Neuroscience Graduate Program and member of Kevin Wright's Lab! She recently received a NINDS F31 National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellowship for her project “Dystroglycan regulates cerebellar synapse function”.
Mutations in any of the 17 genes involved in the proper glycosylation of Dystroglycan results in a form of muscular dystrophy termed dystroglycanopathy, characterized by defects in muscle integrity as well as neurological deficits. Jahncke's research aims to elucidate the mechanism by which Dystroglycan functions at a subset of inhibitory synapses in the brain in an effort to understand the origin of the cognitive deficits seen in dystroglycanopathies. The proposed experiments will aid in the generation of gene therapies for the treatment of cognitive symptoms in human dystroglycanopathy patients.