Courtney Ackeifi '10

I am currently a PhD candidate at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the department of Systems Biology of Disease and Therapeutics.

Hello, I'm Courtney Ackeifi, a Biological Chemistry major, Music minor, and class of 2010. I worked in the Tetel Lab my sophomore-senior years at Wellesley as a Mentoring in the Sciences Scholar. During my time there I developed a protocol for analyzing the co-localization of immunofluorescence in confocal images. I was able to apply this analysis to my work with Christina Tognoni (NEUR '09) on mapping estradiol-induced progestin receptors and two coactivators, steroid receptor coactivator-1 (SRC-1) and SRC-2 in the mouse brain (Tognoni et al., 2011). We were also able to measure relative levels of each protein and their co-localization to better understand hormone action and signal transduction in reproductively-relevant areas of the mouse brain.

Since Wellesley, I have worked as a research assistant at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute in the Rubin laboratory and Screening facility. In this role, I have worked to develop human stem cell-derived models of neurodegenerative diseases such as Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson's Disease. With these models, I have developed assays for identifying active compounds and potential therapeutics for these diseases.

My experiences in the Tetel and Rubin labs, as well as internships in the biotech industry have sparked and developed my deep interest for scientific discovery and I am excited to pursue a future and further study in laboratory science.