By Lauren Rosburg
We would like to congratulate Hannah Spaulding, Dr. Josh Selsby's PhD student, on receiving the Caroline tum Suden Frances Hellebrandt Professional Opportunity Award. This award is given to 36 students nationwide who prove a strong research background and it allows them to be able to attend and participate fully in the Experimental Biology meeting which takes place this year in sunny San Diego, California.
Hannah received a BA from Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota and has been at Iowa State University for a little over 3 years. Her research focuses on Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is an incurable genetic disease that affects 1 in every 5,000 males and generally starts in childhood. This disease weakens muscles eventually causing them to fail. Most times kids are diagnosed at the age of 3-4 and are confined to a wheel chair by their teenage years and those effected generally die in their mid-20s due to cardiac or respiratory failure.
The specific research Hannah focuses on is the different treatments for muscular dystrophy using anti-inflammatory drugs such as quercetin and prednisone and their effect on skeletal muscle individually and together. She is using mice to conduct this research and hopes that her findings can help extend the life of those affected and improving their day-to-day life. “By improving limb muscle, we can improve daily life...such as having the ability to eat on their own or play with their siblings. It is just as important that their quality of life and is as beneficial as their long-term treatment .”