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McNair Scholar 2015Karimatou Bah

Karimatou Bah is a junior at the University of Minnesota majoring in biochemistry and minoring in neuroscience. Her research interests revolve around understanding and treating neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease. Ms. Bah plans on attaining her Ph.D. in the field of neuroscience.

Karimatou Bah photo
I aspire to research the causes for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, in order to partake in the development of new and effective interventions. I hope to use my knowledge to promote neurodegenerative disease awareness in underprivileged and underrepresented communities.

Research project

Microglia response to fatty acid binding protein-UCP2 axis in facilitating neuroinflammation

Abstract: Obesity and high fat diets are linked to neuroinflammation. In the hypothalamus, microglia (immune cells of the brain) are responsive to saturated fatty acids and contribute to neuroinflammation during the onset of obesity. Fatty acid binding protein (FABP)-4 is a lipid chaperone that regulates inflammatory pathways in response to fatty acids in peripheral macrophages. Inhibition of FABP4 in macrophages results in the reduction of obesity-induced inflammation via an uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) mechanism. The role of FABP4-UCP2 axis in neuroinflammation is uncharacterized. The objective of this ongoing study is to define this axis using an in vitro microglia model. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Tammy A. Butterick is a research scientist at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System and adjunct assistant professor at the University of Minnesota, Department of Food Science and Nutrition. She received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Medical Microbiology from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She attained her doctoral degree from the University of Minnesota, in the Department of Pharmacology. Butterick’s research collectively focuses on the neuroscience of obesity.