Philly Teen Uses Fruit Flies to Study Anxiety Triggers

Philly Teen’s Experiment Reveals Insights into Anxiety

Gavriela Beatrice Kalish-Schur delves into the cellular aspects of anxiety to advance treatment options.

By Jim Fields
March 11, 2024

Gavriela Beatrice Kalish-Schur, an aspiring neuroscientist, recognized the need for improved anxiety treatments early on, especially for young individuals. Desiring to delve into the complexities of anxiety at a cellular level, she embarked on a mission to enhance therapeutic solutions.

In her pursuit, the 18-year-old student at Julia R. Masterman High School in Philadelphia, aimed to shed light on the intricate mechanisms underlying anxiety, seeking to unlock more targeted and cost-effective remedies.

Her innovative experiment involved inducing anxiety in fruit flies by manipulating a specific brain pathway known as IRE1. Through the modification of this pathway, Kalish-Schur observed distinct behavioral changes in the flies, resembling characteristics of anxiety.

Notably, the altered protein levels in the anxiety-induced flies compared to a control group unveiled crucial insights into the correlation between the IRE1 pathway and anxiety. These findings hold significant promise for advancing tailored treatments for anxiety disorders in humans.

Kalish-Schur emphasized the importance of leveraging existing knowledge and cutting-edge techniques to develop effective therapies for widespread ailments affecting numerous individuals.

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