Katya Melnik

Assistant Professor   frtwe
Ph.D., 2008; Case Western Reserve University
ORCID #0000-0002-4142-1552
Academic Department(s)
Research Area
Research Interest
Neuron-glia interactions in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans
Caenorhabditis elegans as an environmental Biosensor
Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) as a model organism to study the neurotoxic effect of different drugs (or contaminants) as well as the neuronal defects associated with polyamine deficiencies. Behavioral studies will help us better understand the effects a given compound or the lack of one could have on nervous system function. C. elegans is an established model organism in neurobiology and is a convenient system due to its handling simplicity, genetic tractability, ease of culture and live cell imagining. Neurobiological studies have defined the players in different neuronal circuits within the worm that control specific behaviors like, egg-laying and locomotion. Project 1: Chemotherapy drugs although efficient in treating cancer are known for the most part to cause debilitating side effects like chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). The main objective of this project is to: Establish C. elegans as a model organism to study chemotherapy induced neuropathy. Project 2: Polyamines (PAs) are reported to have many roles in maintaining cell homeostasis. Therefore, is no surprise that PA functional pathway deficiencies are associated with epilepsy, ischemia, stroke, gliomas and severe diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and others. The main objective of this project is to establish C. elegans as a model to study the molecular pathways involved in PA dependent cellular homeostasis.
Contact Information
Universidad Central del Caribe
P.O. Box 60327
Bayamón, PR 00960-6032
Tel.: (787) 798-3001 x2054
e-mail: verush@yahoo.com