Vera Gaun


Vera Gaun
BA, Biology
Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA
Cell, Molecular & Developmental Biology PhD Student
James Schwob, MD, PhD, Adviser




The olfactory epithelium (OE) system is a useful model to study neural cell development and regulation. The OE consists of a variety of cells, including the stem-like multipotent horizontal basal cells (HBCs), globose basal cells (GBCs), and olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs). GBCs are always multipotent, whereas HBCs are quiescent and are activated upon injury. My project focuses on the role of primary cilia in the context of OE regulation. In general, cilia are involved in a variety of functions, such as motility and perception, and mutations of ciliary components are known to cause different disorders, known as ciliopathies. One such ciliopathy is the loss of smell perception due to lack of cilia in OSNs. Thus, in addition to cilia function in smell perception, I aim to elaborate the other roles of cilia in the OE.

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December 1: Basic Science Division PhD Programs

February 15: Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences

March 31: Post-Baccalaureate Research Program

May 1: Clinical & Translational Science, MS in Pharmacology & Drug Development