Diabetes and obesity injure the brain and peripheral nerves
Dr. Sarah Elzinga’s goal is to understand how immune system pathways respond to damage at the cellular level to promote inflammation and injure the nervous system, and she is utilizing multiple models to examine nervous system injury and cognitive decline. One model includes a novel 3D culture system, developed in collaboration with the University of Michigan’s bioengineering department, that is increasing our understanding of how the different cell types in the nervous system interact. Additionally, work in other model systems has begun to uncover the underlying mechanisms and present possible treatment options for brain and nerve injury secondary to diabetes and obesity.
- BS, Equine Science, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, 2005
- MS, Animal Science, Michigan State University, 2011
- PhD, Veterinary Science/Immunology & Endocrinology, University of Kentucky, 2017
Honors & Awards
- T32 trainee, University of Michigan National Institutes of Health Multidisciplinary Postdoctoral Training Program in Basic Diabetes Research and Endocrinology Fellowship Training Program
- Biointerface Institute Challenge Grant
- Young Investigator Award, American Quarter Horse Association Foundation
- External review committee member, Gluck Center for Equine Research
Drs. Kim and Elzinga report that proteins in the brain known to promote Alzheimer’s disease are significantly increased in response to eating a high fat diet and becoming obese.