Kathleen Maheras


Quick Look

• Graduated with Bachelors’ degrees in Biology and Biochemistry from Alma College in 2009
• Currently a fifth-year student in the PhD program

What really attracted me to the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics and Wayne State as a whole was the tremendous breadth of research being conducted here as well as the school’s strong ties with the numerous hospitals adjacent to the medical school campus. The strong, research-centered program at the Center in combination with the many opportunities presented by the surrounding hospitals opens the door for a world of possible research areas! In terms of my current research goals, I really have no idea yet! There are so many things that fascinate me and make me want to do/learn more, that it is hard to narrow it down. I guess that’s just the beauty of science!

Research Interests

Advisor: Alexander Gow, PhD

• My research focuses on the importance of proper myelin function and the consequences when myelin becomes dysfunctional. Specifically, my research centers on Claudin 11, a tight junction protein that forms the radial component of myelin sheath. The function of these tight junctions is to prevent leakage of ions and current between layers of compacted sheath, making the membrane more resistant, aiding in proper saltatory conduction. In its absence, conduction velocity is slowed in small myelinated fibers in the brain. The consequence of slowed conduction velocity on neural processing, particularly on cognitive and executive functioning is unknown, and something I will be attempting to understand.


Go back