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Tavian Sanchez

I’m a neuroscience major researching the aging brain, a residence hall advisor and a student research ambassador. And I can do it all because I’m a Bluejay. Here, I can pursue my passions.

Neuroscience, College of Arts and Sciences

I’m pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. Performing research as an undergraduate was always part of my plan. I’m glad to be doing it at Creighton because the one-on-one relationship you have with a research professor here is much better than at a larger school where you are one of 20 undergraduate students in the lab.

Our research is directed by Gwen King, who is particularly interested in neurodegenerative diseases and how the brain ages. My interest in this field was spurred when I witnessed my grandmother’s cognitive decline. My goal is to become a physician-scientist who can produce research that has real-world impact by discovering ways to not only treat but also to prevent neurological disease.

As you grow older, you forget little things here and there. While that’s a normal part of an aging brain, it can become much more severe if you develop Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia or neurodegenerative diseases. We’re taking a close look at how the klotho protein plays a role in an aging brain by studying mice that produce normal levels of klotho and mice that don’t produce klotho at all. Klotho is not yet known to play a specific therapeutic role necessarily in Alzheimer’s, but many studies show that it may protect against the side effects of various neurodegenerative diseases.

In addition to pursuing a neuroscience major, I’m working on a biology minor, and I’m in the honors program. I’ve been a teaching assistant since my sophomore year, and I’m a resident assistant for freshmen in Swanson Hall. I also serve on the leadership board of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (CURAS), where I help prospective and current students understand their opportunities for undergraduate research.

It’s a full schedule but it’s all possible when you truly enjoy what you’re doing.
— Tavian Sanchez | Neuroscience, College of Arts and Sciences