Hannah Williams

Spotlight: Hannah Williams

The hippocampus is particularly vulnerable to traumatic brain injury (TBI) and one of two regions in the brain capable of neurogenesis throughout adulthood. Neural progenitor cells located in the dentate gyrus proliferate in response to TBI leading to partial recovery. However, the long-term fate of neurons born after TBI is poorly understood. Hannah’s project aims to better understand the effects of trauma on long-term hippocampal neurogenesis by using a transgenic reporter mouse to label and track neural progenitor cells born after injury. Hannah’s project also seeks to establish the efficacy of a clinically relevant intranasal dosing paradigm of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) to improve posttraumatic hippocampal neurogenesis and cognitive function after TBI.

Olivia Wireman

Spotlight: Olivia Wireman (Bodart)

Olivia’s project in the Gensel lab seeks to address bowel dysfunction after spinal cord injury (SCI), an urgent concern of the spinal cord injured population. Constipation is a common comorbidity associated with spinal cord injury, leading to episodes of autonomic dysreflexia, impaction, and even hospitalization. Olivia’s work seeks to understand the etiology of this condition at the level of the colon, utilizing well-established histological and molecular techniques in the Gensel Lab to branch into this new area of study. The goal of this study is to characterize the effect of SCI on the colon and identify targets to ameliorate this dysfunction.