My name is Maya Gosztyla and I’m the creator of AlzScience. I am currently in my third year of study as an undergraduate at the Ohio State University, where I’m double-majoring in neuroscience and molecular genetics with a minor in creative writing. My passion for Alzheimer’s disease began at a young age, when my grandma was diagnosed with vascular dementia following a stroke and passed away several years later. It struck me as a particularly tragic way to die, robbed of the precious memories that she’d spent a lifetime acquiring and left with no knowledge of her family or past. I knew that I wanted to understand the brain so that I could prevent this from happening to others.
When I came to OSU and began taking neuroscience classes, I was shocked to learn that Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed. The more I learned about the science of the disease, the more my curiosity and my desire to help find a cure grew, and I decided that I wanted to devote my career to studying Alzheimer’s disease. I am still early on my journey to becoming a neuroscientist, but I get a little closer every day.
I currently work in a neurogenetics research lab on campus, where I study embryonic neural development using fruit flies as a model organism. I’m also the President of a club called Buckeyes Against Alzheimer’s and a member of the Junior Committee of the Central Ohio Alzheimer’s Association. After graduation, my goal is to earn my PhD and go on to study Alzheimer’s and other dementias at a research institution. I am particularly interested in understanding how factors like microbial infection and epigenetic regulation modulate disease pathogenesis. In addition to my love of research, I also have a passion for science writing and hope to continue educating the public about the ways we can keep our brains healthy as we age. More details on my background can be found on my LinkedIn page.