Susanne Var is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences at Western Michigan University. Her supervising professor is Dr. Christine Byrd-Jacobs and her areas of study are neuroscience and immunology. Her doctoral research involves examining the potential role of microglia in neural regeneration and functional recovery after damage to the brain, using the zebrafish olfactory system as a model.
Awards & Recognition
Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2019 – present)
Graduate Student Association Conference Grant (2019)
Member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (2018 – present)
Graduate Student Research Grant (2018)
Outstanding (First Place) Poster Presentation, 2018 Research and Creative Activities Poster and Performance Day (2018)
Graduate Student Travel Grant (2017)
Best Basic Sciences Research Award, 35th Kalamazoo Community Medical and Health Sciences Research Day (2017)
Young Investigator Scholarship (2015)
Var SR, Byrd-Jacobs CA. Microglial Response Patterns Following Damage to the Zebrafish Olfactory Bulb. IBRO Reports. 2019. In press.
Perez-Santiago J, Oliveira MF, Var SR, Day TRC, Woods SP, Gianella S, and Mehta SR. Increase Cell-free Mitochondrial DNA is a Marker of Ongoing Inflammation and Better Neurocognitive Function in Virologically Suppressed HIV-infected Individuals. J Neurovirology.23(2): 283-289, 2017 April, PMID: PMC5538255.
Var SR, Day TRC, Vitomirov A, Smith DM, Soontornniyomkij V, Moore DJ, Achim C, Mehta SR, Pérez-Santiago J. Mitochondrial injury and cognitive function in HIV infection and methamphetamine use. AIDS, 30(6): 839-848, 2016 March 27, PMID: 26807965.
Pérez-Santiago J, Schrier RD, de Oliveira MF, Gianella S, Var SR, Day TR, Ramirez-Gaona M, Suben JD, Murrell B, Massanella M, Cherner M, Smith DM, Ellis RJ, Letendre SL, Mehta SR. Cell-free mitochondrial DNA in CSF is associated with early viral rebound, inflammation, and severity of neurocognitive deficits in HIV infection. J Neurovirology, 22(2):191-200, 2016 April. PMID: 26428514.
Gianella S, Anderson C, Var SR, Oliveira MF, Lada S, Vargas M, Massanella M, Little S, Richman D, Strain M, May S, Pérez-Santiago J, Smith D. Replication of Human Herpes Viruses is Associated with Greater HIV DNA Levels during Antiretroviral Therapy Started during Early HIV Infection. J Virology, 90(8): 3944-3952, 2016 Feb 3. PMID: 26842469.
Pérez-Santiago J, Gianella S, Massanella M, Spina CA, Karris MY, Var SR, Patel D, Jordan PS, Young JA, Little SJ, Richman DD, Smith DM. Gut Lactobacillales are associated with higher CD4 and less microbial translocation during HIV infection. AIDS, 27 (12): 1921-1931, 2013 July 31, PMID: 24180001.