Jennifer is a PhD student in the Neuroscience program at the University of British Columbia, where she works under the supervision of Dr. Annie Ciernia to study how the immune and nervous systems interact to impact brain development and behaviour. Jennifer’s dissertation work focuses on how microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, are epigenetically regulated in immune priming and tolerance in the brain. To pursue this research, she uses a number of experimental approaches including microglial morphology analysis, rodent behavioural analysis, and epigenomics sequencing.
There have been several recent publications profiling microglial gene expression and regulation during early brain development in mice. However, each research group analyzed these sequencing datasets differently and consequently, it is impossible to compare or replicate findings across datasets. Furthermore, these data are currently only available in a raw format that is inaccessible to non-bioinformaticians. With the support of CONP, Jennifer is currently working on building Microgliome, a collation of key microglial sequencing datasets into a user-friendly, interactive web-based tool that can be used by anyone in the scientific community to examine gene regulation in microglia across neurodevelopment.
Watch Jennifer give a presentation of her current work.