Undergraduate Research Program

Rahul Chaliparambil

Rahul in a suit for the cameraMajor: Neuroscience
Mentor: Dr. Josh Russell, Pathology, Dr. Matt Kaeberlein, Pathology

Contact: rahulc99@uw.edu

Current research project: Developing models for studying the impacts of Alzheimer’s Disease on EV signaling

Rahul (he/him) is a rising junior studying Neuroscience with a minor in Bioethics at the University of Washington. He is currently studying how Alzheimer’s Disease can be modeled in the nematode C. elegans, as well as how extracellular vesicles play a role in contributing to the onset of the disease. He is currently developing and testing new models for Tau protein expression in muscle tissue, and self-learning new techniques in data analysis as a remote project.

 

Translate your work so that we can all understand its importance
Alzheimer’s Disease is one of the leading causes of death for people over the age of 65 in the United States. Novel research into early detection and lifespan extension treatment of this disease is desperately needed. Research into extracellular vesicles promises to be an important biomarker for early detection of Alzheimer’s in humans. The research I am conducting in the Kaeberlein Lab is examining whether Tau and Amyloid-Beta, common Alzheimer’s linked proteins, are being transmitted from selectively expressed tissues to other neighboring tissues. I am also conducting a project to determine if selective tissue vesicles can be isolated from bulk secretions, which would increase the efficacy as a biomarker in humans.

 

When, how, and why did you get involved in undergraduate research?
I have always been interested in Alzheimer’s Disease and neuroscience from a young age. I got involved in undergraduate research during my senior year of high school. I was given an amazing opportunity by the Kaeberlein Lab to get involved in the research at such a young age, and over the last three years I have learned so much about myself and my passions in science.

 

What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research?
Put yourself out there and go for it! It’s never too early to get involved, and it may turn out to be one of the most rewarding experiences of your undergraduate career. Many professors and PIs are excited to get undergraduates involved in their projects as well. We are all so lucky to attend an amazing research 1 university, and there is research across the UW in almost every field imaginable, and there is a lab/project out there waiting for you!