LSU biology major Nikka Khorsandi’s research focuses on utilizing immunohistochemical strategies to label cell-specific proteins in both the chicken and alligator retinas. His thesis is entitled “Comparative Analysis of the Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) Retinas.” With this approach, he can study the anatomical differences between the cellular organizations of the two organisms. Due to the fact that the vertebral retina has been well-conserved in an evolutionary sense and the fact that the alligator is the chicken’s closest, non-avian relative, building a better understanding of the retinal organization of both these organisms allows the development of a more all-encompassing comprehension of the retina.
Nikka is involved in a number of on-campus organizations including the Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) Pre-Medical Honors Society, Dance Marathon at LSU, the Ogden Honors College, Communications across the Curriculum, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. AED is LSU’s only pre-medical honors society and helps to prepare students for a profession in the world of medicine. Dance Marathon at LSU is a fundraising organization that raises support in the Baton Rouge community for Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital. The Ogden Honors College encourages its students to complete an undergraduate thesis and allows students to take a diverse range of courses including a “Comparative Study of the Leaders King, Mandela, and Gandhi” and “The Life and Works of Pablo Picasso.” The Communications across the Curriculum is a cross-discipline organization that teaches students how to effectively communicate ideas and discoveries within their respective subjects. Lastly, the National Society of Leadership and Success is an Honors organization on campus that focuses on providing opportunities to learn about the important qualities found in a leader and how to best exemplify those attributes.