LabTV: Young Scientist on a Mission to Cure Alzheimer’s Disease
Posted on by Dr. Francis Collins
Time for another LabTV video! Today, I’d like you to meet Melissa Young, a third-year graduate student in the College of Pharmacy, University of Georgia, Athens. Young, who is doing research in the lab of James Franklin, says her scientific goal is to help build the scientific case that oxidative stress plays a key role in Alzheimer’s disease.
Young also has a personal reason for wanting to her research to succeed. From her experiences with a beloved grandmother and aunt, she has seen first-hand the heartbreaking effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia on both patients and their loved ones. Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and no treatments to halt or reverse its progression. That’s one of the reasons why Young has chosen to go into an area of science focused on translating basic discoveries into new therapeutics.
Another motivation for Young’s decision to pursue a scientific career is that she’s a hands-on person who hates to sit around for hours staring at a computer screen. Working in a lab allows this native of Greenville, NC to channel her boundless energy in creative and challenging ways. Under the guidance of her graduate adviser, Young is learning how to ask thought-provoking questions, design experiments aimed at answering those questions, run experiments, analyze the results, and maybe, if lucky, celebrate success—if not, learn from failure and head back to the lab bench!
Franklin Lab (University of Georgia, Athens)
Science Careers (National Institute of General Medical Sciences/NIH)
Careers Blog (Office of Intramural Training/NIH)