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In Their Own Words: Rebeccah Ward

Photo by Giovanna Fabbri
Rebeccah Ward, Physiology Graduate Program, 4th Year PhD Student

Potential better treatments for diabetes

 “The main point of my research is studying diabetes and stroke. Diabetes is becoming more and more common and it increases the risk of stroke. If you have both, you will have an even worse outcome. But unfortunately, there’s no good treatment for that. Right now, we are trying to propose a better one. So, what we did is, we looked at the area of the brain that is essentially dealing with cognition and we saw that diabetes increases the cell deaths and inflammatory markers. We decided to take one of these markers and active it with some specific drugs made in the lab, and we saw an improvement on the cognition and on the general work of this part of the brain. If we can understand how this works and why it’s benefiting it, this might be able to go to the clinics and offer better treatments for diabetic patients, maybe even for stroke. It looks very promising. I just got back from the International Stroke Conference, and it’s very exciting when people want to know more about your research.”

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