Liz Fisher Ph.D.
During her undergraduate career, Dr. Fisher focused on dissecting protein-protein interactions important in the progression of cancer. Specifically, she worked on the interaction between Gα12, a protein important in metastasis and cancer progression, and Radixin, a cytoskeletal protein involved in cell motility. Using in vitro pull-down techniques, she identified key areas on Gα12 which bound to Radixin. This work led to a poster presentation at the American Society for Cell Biology’s annual meeting, as well as a contribution to a publication.
While in graduate school, her research began with contributions to understanding the molecular interactions between midline glia and axons in the developing Drosophila embryo. She performed a forward genetic screen to identify more molecular players involved in these interactions. This project led to the publication of a novel tool for studying midline glia in Drosophila. She later focused on researching astrocyte metabolism following stroke. She discovered that enhancing astrocyte oxidative metabolism following stroke in mice is neuroprotective, a significant finding in this field. This work led to presentations at the prestigious Gordon Research Conference and the Cold Spring Harbor conference. She also had the opportunity to work with leaders in the field of astrocyte metabolism to publish a review on the subject.
As a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Fisher’s research focuses on immune modulation in the spinal cord following injury, building off work established in the Temple Lab. This cutting-edge technology involves using biodegradable microbeads administered to the site of the injury, which are taken up macrophages to alter their phenotype to a pro-regenerative state. Dr. Fisher and her colleagues have extended this work to perform single cell analysis on immune cells which infiltrate the spinal cord following injury and hopefully combine this with administering the beads to find novel molecular pathways involved in spinal cord injury and repair.