Class of 2012
Education: BS and MS in Biology
T.J. wanted to translate cutting edge research into clinical applications that help improve the quality of life for patients with neurological diseases. Neurodegenerative disorders are terrible to deal with, from both the family's perspective as well as the patient's. Further characterization of the complex communication transpiring between neurons will allow the development of therapies that at least slow disease progression, if not completely ameliorate it. Human nervous system testing is technically limited, so iPS cells will aid in developing disease models for drug and disease pathway testing. In the future, he will use optogenetic tools, in conjunction with electrophysiology, to further the understanding of the deficiencies in communication found in diseased neurological tissue.
After graduating, T.J. obtained a position as a Research Associate at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, in the laboratory of Dr Fred Gage.