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Jennifer Schaefer


My thesis project research consisted of single-cell RNA-sequencing and bioinformatics using R programming and Neuroscience Multi-omic Data Archive (NeMO) Analytics to examine the impact of aging, brain region, and other variables on the genotypes and phenotypes of oligodendrocytes (OLGs) and oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs). The overarching goal was to increase understanding of glial cell fate and function. After determining bioinformatical findings, follow-up wet-bench experiments were performed to validate results. RNA in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry were performed to confirm differential gene expression across cell types and brain regions. These experiments also revealed any changes in oligodendrocyte (OLG) development and maturation with the loss of the gene of interest (Choi et al., 2018). The conclusions impact the broader neurobioinformatics field, specifically revolving around the relationship between neural-glial cell interactions and neurodegenerative diseases.