MDI Biological Laboratory
MDI Science Café

Science Around the World

  • August 22, 2022
  • 5:00 - 6:00 pm
  • Online

In recent years, MDI Biological Laboratory has focused on growing its graduate education programs and now proudly hosts talented graduate students from a number of Maine-based and international institutions. During this Science Cafe, MDIBl graduate students will briefly highlight their research, as well as the personal stories that lead them to Maine. 

Join us on Monday, August 22, to hear the diverse stories of these emerging professionals, and gain a unique glance into the future of biomedical research.

Presenters will include: 
Atalay Ata, Hannover University
Research topic: Ribosome dysfunction induced by Alzheimer’s disease.

Atalay works in the Rollins Lab studying ribosome dysfunction induced by Alzheimer’s, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that has become a global burden. Its prevalence is increasing in aging populations, and very few options for successful therapeutic treatment. Atalay hopes that his work now, and into the future, will contribute to the molecular understanding of neurodegenerative diseases and develop alternative approaches to test in model systems.

Romain Mernard, University of Maine
Research Topic: Effect of apelin peptide on muscular regeneration and aging

Romain studies the degenerative loss of muscle (muscular atrophy) in the Madelaine Lab. Although advances in the biomedical field has allowed people to live longer, the elderly often still suffer from aging-related diseases. His project will characterize the effects of apelin (also known APLN, a peptide in humans that is widely expressed in major organs, such as the heart, lung, brain, liver and kidney) as an anti-aging and pro-regenerative signaling peptide and decipher the cell type specific functions of apelin that might reveal molecular and cellular therapeutic targets to alleviate or reverse age-associated muscular atrophy.

Sonia Sandhi, Hannover University
Research topic:
Influence of diet on age-related regeneration

Sonia’s passion for science and research was sparked by an undergraduate professor, and her journey has led to completing a portion of her Ph.D. studies at MDIBL. Working alongside her colleagues in the Rogers Lab, Sonia is studying aging and regeneration, modeling the role of nutrient signaling in healthy aging in the institution’s newest model organism, the African turquoise killifish.

Kylie Bragdon, Ph.D., Graduate Program Coordinator
Kylie joined MDI Biological Laboratory in December of 2021 as Graduate Program Coordinator and COBRE Grant Administrator, where she works with faculty to formulate a curriculum for new and existing MDIBL partner graduate programs. Previously the Executive Director of the Maine Ocean School in Searsport, she is also graduate of the University of New England doctoral program in Educational Leadership.  Kylie is especially interested in broadening the educational community, and facilitating international learning experiences.