Krishna Nukala, Ph.D. student, Integrated Biology
Links immunity to seizures
“Using a fruit fly model of epilepsy and cutting-edge genetic tools, Krishna has now shown that specific knockdown of the brain innate immune system leads to suppression of seizures. This result suggests that targeting the innate immune system may be a new way to develop novel anti-epileptic medications.” – John Manak, Professor, Biology
• Hometown: Visakhapatnam, India
• Faculty mentor/advisor: Dr. John Manak
• What is your degree program and expected graduate date? Ph.D candidate, Integrated Biology. December 2022
• Please describe your research: My research focuses on discovering novel pathways of how seizures occur.
• In simple terms, why does this research matter? Almost a third of the currently available seizure medications do not work or are partially effective. My research helps in identifying potential targets that can be developed into new drugs to treat seizures.
• How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I was able to start working on my thesis in my second semester at the university.
• How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? Doing research at the university and trying to discover something novel has helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses thus preparing me for what’s coming in the future. Being exposed to interdisciplinary research at my graduate program also enlightened me with the multitude of applications my own research might have.
• What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? I plan to continue research at an institution or an industry that will allow me to have a greater impact on solving real world problems and change the lives of people.
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