Casey has worked at Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory as part of a COA course, studying the adaptive mechanisms of killifish in response to heavy metal concentrations.  He has also worked at the other world-class genetics lab on Mount Desert Island, The Jackson Laboratory, in the gerontology program, helping to isolate the reasons why our bodies age. He says, “The opportunity to take part in these types of experiences, along with the school’s incredible educational philosophy, are two of the reasons I chose COA.”

It is no surprise then, that his senior project would address some aspect of human health. Here is how he describes it:

As our population becomes older, we are quickly finding ourselves in an Alzheimer’s epidemic, and thus for my senior project I plan to explore two facets of Alzheimer’s care. First, I will be traveling to Europe and visiting humanistic care centers, conducting an ethnographic project studying the cultural influences on the psychology and care systems surrounding dementia.

After I return, I’ll work at The Jackson Laboratory in an Alzheimer’s research group, exploring the genetic risk factors associated with the disease. By approaching this ever-growing problem from two different sides, I hope to increase my understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and gain a sense for what it’s like to live with dementia.