Jordan is currently a PhD student in analytical chemistry and has been a member of the Hashemi lab since 2015. She works closely with our collaborator, Dr. Wiskur, to develop new ionophore-grafted CFMs. She recently won the graduate student poster award at Discover USC 2018. We sit down with Jordan to ask her about her research in the lab and what makes her research so important.
Could you tell us a little bit about your research?
I am currently working on developing a new probe to measure glutamate, an important signaling molecule in the brain. Glutamate in the brain is highly regulated and hard to access, and is one of many amino acids with similar structure and function, thus our probe provides a new approach to detecting this elusive molecule on a sub-second time scale.
Why is your research so important, why does it matter?
My research is important because disruptions in glutamate transmission contribute to neurological disfunction and have been linked to a number of neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimers Disease, etc.). Development of this diagnostic tool will allow us to better understand the glutaminergic system and gain insight into glutamate’s role in health and disease.
What do you like best about your research?
My research project extremely interdisciplinary, has a real world application, and is very translational to human health. Almost everyone knows someone that suffers from neurodegeneration and it is very rewarding to work on a project with the potential to have such a positive impact.