1) Your name, program, dissertation title.
Angela Dorigatti, IBMS, Biology of Aging, “Tau-induced astrocyte senescence in Alzheimer’s disease”
2) Please tell me about yourself, why did you pick UT Health San Antonio, and your program.
When I selected UT Health San Antonio, I had three things in mind:
- To go to one of the top Aging Research institutions in the US
- To have a great selection of aging-related PIs
- Great weather with no snow!
3) What has been the highlight of graduate school so far? Have you won any awards or have there been any achievements you’ve been proud of?
My trip to Japan to present my research was one of the most exciting experiences of my life! I have won nine awards over the past five years, including 1st place data blitz at the American Aging Association meeting. I am very proud of being the first graduate student to have a proposal accepted by the NIA Intervention’s testing program, and I couldn’t have done it without the mentorship of Dr. Randy Strong and Dr. Jim Nelson.
4) Please provide a few sentences summarizing your dissertation. What was the experience like for you?
My dissertation focused on understanding how tau impacts non-neuronal cells in Alzheimer’s disease. I discovered that tau can induce senescence in astrocytes, which conflates inflammation and neurodegeneration of a mouse model of human tauopathy. This was a dream project for me and the implications of this research may advance the field of neuroscience. It was very exciting to be a part of such an important project.
5) Why are you passionate about your research topic? How did you first become interested in it?
I am passionate about learning how the human body ages and what interventions can extend healthspan and lifespan. I was originally inspired by Janine Benyus and her book “Biomimicry” as well as Cynthia Kenyon’s Daf-2 mutant worms that had increased longevity.
6) What’s next?
I will be working as a Support Scientist for 10x Genomics in the Bay Area!
7) Any advice for your fellow graduate students?
Learn as many techniques as you can (this will directly affect your future employment) and always push yourself to go just beyond your comfort zone.