Neural interface technologies represent a growing field with major contributions towards neuronal rehabilitation of serious injuries. Currently, use of such devices are limited as they are plagued with chronic instability; failing after six months to one year following implantation. This issue is primarily due to the neuroinflammatory response plays a significant role in biological and mechanical failure modes. Using real-time in vivo two-photon microscopy, I am trying to better characterize the response of astrocytes to inserted microelectrodes into the brain, illustrating their role in foreign body response.

I received my B.S. in neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh. At Pitt, I worked in Dr. Claire Cheetham’s lab – focusing on olfaction. Specifically, investigating the role of immature olfactory sensory neurons (OSN) in olfaction. The roles and development of immature OSNs are not well documented in literature. Of the two projects I helmed, the first focused on determining the cellular age of OSNs expressing established immature or mature markers, the maximum age an OSN expressed G𝛾8 (an immature marker) and the minimum age an OSN expressed OMP (a mature marker). The latter focused on immature OSN’s preferential stimulation of mitral versus tufted cells in the OB, as well as analyzing their activation of specific regions of the olfactory cortex using two-photon microscopy.


Savya, S. P., Kunkhyen, T. & Cheetham, C.E.J. (2018). "Low survival rate of young adult-born olfactory sensory neurons in the undamaged mouse olfactory epithelium." J Bioenerg Biomembr.

Liu, A., Savya, S., Urban, N. N. (2016). "Early Odorant Exposure Increases the Number of Mitral and Tufted Cells Associated with a Single Glomerulus." J Neurosci 36(46): 11646-11653.