Q&A with Dr. Christina Michalski: Developing Brain Cell Models to Better Understand Schizophrenia
About 1 out of 100 Americans has schizophrenia, a severe psychiatric disorder that impacts mood and thought processes. The cause of schizophrenia is unknown, making it difficult to develop treatments.
Christina Michalski, PhD, of Emory University received a 2023 PhRMA Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Translational Medicine for her research on the molecular mechanisms of schizophrenia. She is developing innovative models of brain cells using blood samples from patients with a rare genetic disorder called 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22qDS), who have a ~25-fold higher risk for schizophrenia than the public. Michalski will compare the molecular makeup of microglia (a type of immune cell in the brain) from 22qDS patients with healthy people. These experiments aim to uncover disease mechanisms underlying schizophrenia and identify potential therapeutic targets.
Watch this video to learn about Michalski and her research.
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