Kara Gordon, a Ph.D. candidate in neuroscience, is researching the protein TorsinA, a protein that is responsible for many cases of early-onset dystonia.
Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder in which sustained muscle contractions lead to twisting and repetitive movements that result in abnormal posture. “My research suggests that neurons use protein degradation to favorably dispose of TorsinA, and investigating the specific mechanisms of degradation may reveal therapeutic targets by modulating protein degradation,” Gordon said.
When Gordon isn’t in the lab or the classroom, she spends some of her free time promoting neuroscience to young children. She has volunteered at the neuroscience booth at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines and at the Brain Discovery Fair in Iowa City.