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Ida Shaffer

Ida Shaffer
Entered Program: 2016
Graduate Advisor: Ralph Marcucio, PhD
Student Bio: 
Ida was born and raised along the coast of beautiful Monterey, California. For 14 years she was an artistic gymnast and competed at the Junior Olympic Trials where she was recruited to compete for the UC Davis women’s gymnastics team. While an undergraduate at UC Davis, she joined Dr. Kimberly McAllister’s laboratory at the Center for Neuroscience and explored the molecular mechanisms underlying cortical synapse formation in early brain development. In this project, she used live imaging techniques to study the effect of intracellular Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CamKII) on the trafficking of post-synaptic NMDA receptors in cultured neurons to synaptic sites. In addition, she assisted laboratory personnel on a project to optimize the mouse Maternal Immune Activation (MIA) model which has been shown to be an environmental risk factor for neurodevelopmental disorders. This research focused on standardizing variables to make this an effective model for studying the role of the immune system on brain development across laboratories. In 2015, Ida graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Biology and an emphasis in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior. Through her past research experiences, Ida is interested in further investigating developmental processes specific to the craniofacial region and applying this knowledge to the area of tissue regeneration and repair. Outside of the lab, Ida enjoys running, gardening, hiking, and traveling.