Dr. Dayong Wu, Dr. Barbara Shukitt-Hale

Dissertation title:

Beneficial effects of blueberry administered before and/or after stressor-induced neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and cognitive deficits

Research/teaching interests:

Neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, central nervous system aging, antioxidants, polyphenols

Danielle Cahoon is a Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition PhD student in the Neuroscience & Aging laboratory at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, where she has been involved in studying the effects of dietary phytochemicals on neurodegenerative disease processes. Her dissertation focuses on the pre- and/or post-stressor (e.g., ionizing radiation) effects of polyphenol-rich blueberry extract on neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and cognitive deficits using both in vitro (e.g., microglia) and in vivo (rodent) models. Danielle received her BS in Medicine, Health & Society, with minors in Neuroscience and Corporate Strategy at Vanderbilt University and completed her MS in Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Upon completion of her dissertation, Danielle hopes to continue research on the mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative disease and the development of therapeutics (dietary or pharmaceutical) to target these processes.