Elizabeth Combs

“My name is Elizabeth Combs. I’m a biology and psychology double major at Emory & Henry, and I am doing my research on epilepsy… in plants! That might sound strange, but we have much more in common with plants than previously believed. Neurotransmitters, the signaling molecules in our brains, are actually quite commonly found within plants. GABA, the inhibitory neurotransmitter, plays a particularly large role in plant metabolism, especially when the plants respond to stress. Because GABA also plays a role in neurological stress (for example, epileptic seizures), it’s possible that plants may be a model for epilepetic research. Thanks to the help of Dr. Fleet, I am working with mutant Arabidopsis plants that, while lacking GABA, are bursting with potential for epilepsy research.”