Office of Undergraduate Research Undergraduate research will set you apart.

Recently In Research- Kacie Florus


Kacie Florus

Can severe neurodevelopmental abnormalities in cats be the result of a loss-of-function mutation in phosphoprotein enriched in astrocytes-15 (PEA15)? Kacie Florus, a senior majoring in Biomedical Sciences, is using her undergraduate research to answer this question. Florus studies how PEA15 may be involved in normal neurodevelopment by comparing the brains in normal cats (unaffected) to those with the mutation (affected). Florus and her team used an RNAseq analysis technique called cell-type deconvolution to discover changes in the cellular subtype. The cell-type deconvolution study showed that transcripts specific to neuronal cells did not change but transcripts unique to endothelial cells were increased in affected cats compared to the unaffected.

Florus says the most rewarding thing about her undergraduate research experience is “…getting the opportunity to learn so much about the scientific process from my mentor and my lab group.” She adds that her experience has prepared her for work in her future career field, “Research has helped me understand how the things I learn in the classroom can be applied to real-life problem-solving and how collaborating is essential to producing your best quality of work.

Kacie has presented her research at the COSAM Undergraduate Research Fair and College of Veterinary Medicine Undergraduate Research Forum. She is a 2018-19 Undergraduate Research Fellow in COSAM under the mentorship of Dr. Emily Graff from the Department of Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Last modified: March 27, 2019