Videos & Webinars

Investigations of the Effects of Amyloid-Beta Proteins on hSlo1.1, a BK Channel, in a Xenopus Oocyte Model

Speaker: Lauren French, PhD, Allegheny College


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by profound memory loss in afflicted individuals. The disease was classically characterized by widespread deposition of insoluble amyloid-beta (Aβ) plaques throughout the cortex, leading to synaptic dysfunction and neuronal loss. Big-conductance potassium (BK) channels are involved in action potential repolarization and calcium-induced apoptosis and have been shown to be affected by Aβ. Recent research has implicated the toxicity of intraneuronal Aβ, particularly soluble oligomers and immature fibrils that have become sequestered in the cell, interfering with synaptic transmission. The current study is investigating the effects of different conformations of intracellular and extracellular Aβ on hSlo1.1, a BK channel, in a Xenopus laevis oocyte model.

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Speaker Bio:

Dr. Lauren French received her Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Oberlin College in 1993. She received her doctorate degree in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University in 2001. Since 2001, Dr. French has been a professor of biology and neuroscience at Allegheny College. She was awarded the Demmler Grant in 2003 for development of the Neurophysiology Teaching Laboratory at Allegheny College. Her professional mission and her passion is educating the next generation of neuroscientists. She routinely uses electrophysiology equipment and analysis software to work with undergraduate students in class laboratory sessions and independent research. The students learn cutting-edge techniques that prepare them for a diverse range of careers, and she develops collaborators to work with her on research questions that are important to the broader scientific community.