Student NameAlexis Brake
Faculty Mentor NameKevin Otto
CollegeCollege of Engineering
MajorEnvironmental Engineering
Research InterestsNeuroscience
Academic AwardsNational AP Scholar with Distinction, Consecutive Deans List status 2016-present, University Scholar 2018-2019
OrganizationsCenter for Undergraduate Research Board of Students, Neuromedicine Interdisciplinary Clinical and Academic Program
Hobbies and InterestsDance, Reading, Science, Nature

Research Project

Implementation of the African Spiny Mouse model to investigate glial and neuronal responses to implantable neural interfaces

In the field of neural interfaces, chronically implanted neural interfaces in the CNS lead to an encapsulating glial scar. While other non-mammalian species have shown remarkable ability to fully regenerate tissue, such as the axolotl, the African Spiny Mouse (ASM) is the only known mammal able to fully regenerate injured tissues with minimal scarring. The unique regenerative abilities of this species make it a prime candidate for investigating the foreign body response (FBR) to implanted devices, which has traditionally been a highly variable and complex system to understand. Alexis’ project will provide a baseline examination of the cellular morphology of the African Spiny mouse brain in the context of implantable neural interfaces and is intended as the first step in investigating how the regenerative abilities of the African Spiny mouse could impact current understanding of the FBR and neuroregeneration.