Researching Alzheimer’s and fruit flies

"In my research, I use Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies) as a model of Alzheimer's Disease. There are very few drugs available to treat Alzheimer's, and the ones that are available only treat the symptoms and have terrible side effects. For my thesis project, I am looking at new compounds that might be able to treat Alzheimer's more effectively by testing them on my fly model and observing the effects on certain behaviors that the fly has, such as memory and motor control. I felt a real draw to this project because it had so many real world applications and has the potential to make an impact in the next five to ten years. Hopefully, this will lead to developments in how to treat and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s."

Learning in the lab

“Completing research as an undergraduate student gave me an idea of what graduate school was like and the confidence to know I can do this. I learned to ask questions, dive into the scientific literature, and think critically. I had the opportunity to work with and be inspired by amazing faculty and other students.  I also found mentors I’m still in contact with—they gave me the drive to do great work and just be the best scientist and best person I can be.”

At Gettysburg

Admissions Tour Guide

Chemistry Department Peer Science Mentor

Cross Country Skiing Junior Olympics

Fencing Club

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Summer Research Fellow

Sceptical Chymists Student Senate Representative

Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity

Wind Symphony

Women’s Choir

Women’s Cross Country


Finding a faculty mentor

“Dr. Kazuo Hiraizumi in Biology was my ‘go-to’ if I needed words of wisdom or someone to talk to. Much of his advice helped me gain the confidence to apply to graduate school and to succeed during my time at Gettysburg, for which I will be forever grateful.”

Read more about Kaytie Innamorati.