Kristian Odfalk, a second-year student in the Neuroscience discipline of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences program is one of the recipients of the Neuroscience T32 award.
The T32 award is an award given by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to enable institutions to recruit individuals selected by the program leadership for advanced research training of predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in an area of neuroscience. The PI on the grant is Dr. David Morilak.
Odfalk is in the lab of Dr. Sarah Hopp where he is working on research related to Alzheimer’s disease, which is growing in prevalence as roughly 500,000 cases are diagnosed in the United State every year.
“We are investigating mechanisms to restore the function of autophagy in the Alzheimer’s disease brain. Autophagy is the cells ability to sequester and clear out dysfunctional organelles and proteins. This process is dysregulated in Alzheimer’s disease and drives many aspects of its pathology,” he said. “We and many others believe that targeting autophagy holds high therapeutic potential. We strive to advance the field quickly to provide better, more effective therapies for this rapidly growing disease.”
Odfalk is honored to receive this fellowship and plans to pursue a career in academia, industry or perhaps both.
“I am driven by purpose, a love of science, and a desire to teach. This is my first fellowship and I am quite proud of it.,” he said. “Receiving this award has inspired confidence in me for my future fellowship applications.”
Outside of school, he likes to spend time with his girlfriend and dog at home. His hobbies include sketching, painting, playing my saxophone, home brewing, and long runs or bike rides.