Student Spotlight: Samantha Spellicy

1. What research are you currently conducting in the lab?

Currently I am researching the therapeutic efficacy and anti-inflammatory potential of neural stem cell derived extracellular vesicles (NSCEV) in multiple neurodegenerative diseases such as stroke, and Parkinson’s.

2. What are some of the big implications your research could potentially have in the world?

If NSCEV do attenuate universal proinflammatory pathways, they have the potential to be neuroprotective in a range of devastating neuronal pathologies. In turn, this would help preserve not only the quality of life of millions of stroke and Parkinson’s suffers worldwide but may also be expanded to help other disease sufferers as well.

3. Could you give us a snapshot (i.e., brief description) of what a typical day looks like?

On a typical day I usually start with tending to any cells I have in culture, such as mesenchymal stem cells, neural stem cells, or primary cell cultures. As part of this process I use sterile culture techniques to change media or passage cells, all while in a sterile culture safety cabinet. After this, I can start the process to extract extracellular vesicles from the conditioned media of these cell cultures or plan out experiments for upcoming days. Depending on the day, I may also then begin primary cell extraction processes, or attend various neuroscience sponsored seminars or journal clubs. Lastly, I will conduct live cell imaging studies with the advanced imaging systems we have available here at the Regenerative Bioscience Center.

4. Where could we find you outside of the lab?

When I not in the lab I usually tying to enjoy the sunshine as much as possible. Wither that means playing softball and volleyball, reading or napping in a hammock, or enjoying the patio of a coffee shop downtown, I am usually tying to enjoy as much of the outdoor Georgia weather as possible.

5. What was the last book you read? 

The last book I read was Patient H.M: A story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets. This book chronicles of the story of a Henry Molaison, and individual with refractory epilepsy whose clinical outcomes following a tragic invasive surgery has come to shape our understanding of modern neuroscience.