Kirsta Olson

Professional Title
Graduate Student

Master's Student

Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Liang (Biology)

Education: B.S. Biology - University of Minnesota, Duluth

Specialty Area: Developmental Biology

Thesis Research: Abnormality during maturation of the neural tube results in an open neural tube, a neural tube defect (NTD). In humans, an NTD occurs for every 1 in 1,000 births, most commonly known as spina bifida or anencephaly; abnormal maturation of the brain and spinal cord (Aquilina-Beck et al., 2007). My research uses Danio rerio (zebrafish), a vertebrate model organism, focusing on genes in signaling pathways causing an NTD to occur. My hope is to find more answers for neural tube closure in zebrafish, to give the developmental biology field more insight on NTDs in humans.