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Xinyi Lin

Master's Student
University of Toronto
Center for Addiction and Mental Health
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I am a Master’s student in the Galea lab, focusing on the intersection of sex and APOE genotype in hippocampal plasticity and cognition during middle age, with a particular interest on the role of the complement system. Both sex and APOEε4 genotype are significant risk factors for Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Notably, females with AD typically exhibit more severe neuropathological changes and cognitive decline compared to males. Additionally, female APOEε4 carriers face an elevated risk of earlier AD onset and more pronounced cognitive decline in middle age than their male counterparts. Therefore, understanding the influence of sex and genotype on cognition-related diseases is paramount. Intriguingly, studies have shown that inhibition of complement protein C3 can mitigate cognitive decline and restore neurogenesis levels. Thus, my research aims to investigate whether inhibiting complement protein C3 can rescue cognitive and neurogenesis deficits in APOEε4 carriers, with consideration for sex-specific effects.

Before joining Microgaleas, I completed my BSc with a double major in Neuroscience and Cell & Molecular Biology at the University of Toronto. During my undergraduate studies, I delved into diverse research areas and worked with various models including mice, zebrafish, and HELA cell lines. My experiences spanned projects such as investigating vaccines for preventing Zika Virus infection and associated microcephaly, genetic engineering in zebrafish, exploring the role of K+Cl- cotransporter 2 (KCC2) in GABAergic signaling and neuronal connectivity, and studying the priming effect of cognitive and physical enrichment on memory formation through neurogenesis and oligodendrogenesis.

When I'm not buried in research, I love to unwind by rock climbing, wondering around the city, eating lots of fries, and adding to my quirky collection of Alien (the 3-eye little guy from Toy Story) memorabilia.

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