With Sports, Beer and Neurosci: Lauren Sakowski Joins RealScientists!

SakowskiblogThis week the fabulous Lauren Sakowski is acting curator for RealScientists. Lauren is a molecular biologist with an interest in neuroscience and mental health, and does brill things on the side such as write guest articles for PLOS! Lauren tweets @LaSaks87 normally, and maintains a blog here on WordPress called NeuroCultureBlog.

Why/How did you end up in science?

I was encouraged by my high school science teachers to consider biology or chemistry as a major, so I started on that track from the beginning. I did research as an undergrad and did an internship in industry to get exposure to different atmospheres. The lab experience really solidified my desire to stay in the field.

Why did you choose your current field/what keeps you there?

The patients and their families keep me in this field. I have met a number of them over the years and every time, it renews my commitment to advancing research and finding a treatment.

Tell us about your work?

I study Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease, which is a leukodystrophy or disease of the myelin sheath in the central nervous system. Our lab uses a mouse model to characterize neurodegeneration and inflammation and we are currently testing three treatment regimens in the mice.

Motivation: why should the lay public care about your research/work?

Although PMD is a very rare disorder, it shares many molecular and pathological characteristics with diseases such as MS and Alzheimer’s. Any knowledge gained from studying PMD can be applied to more common diseases that affect so many people.

Do you have any interesting external/extracurricular obligations?

I maintain a science blog of my own (NeuroCultureBlog) and also contribute as a guest-blogger to other sites.

Any interesting hobbies you’d like to share?

I’ve done ballet since I was 3. It is the only time my mind is ever quiet. I also volunteer for a local pit bull rescue and help out with fundraising/awareness events.

How would you describe your ideal day off? 

If it’s a weekend, I’m probably at a sports bar watching football and yelling at the TV. Otherwise, spending the day reading and hanging out with my dog sounds delightful.

Everyone please welcome Lauren to RealScientists!


Sarah Morgan

I'm a Research Fellow at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. I work in the meld space between compulsory education and tertiary scientific research; we develop teaching modules using the real research stories around us in the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease field. Engagement is the name of the game - creating opportunities for teachers, students and scientists to interact, and enrich learning on all sides. Scicomm is my passion, though I come from a molecular genetics research background.

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