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Julia Belk studies the swarms of “nano-robots” patrolling our bodies – sometimes known as the immune system – that can cause, prevent, or cure disease. As a doctoral student, Belk focused on reprogramming immune cells to fight cancer more effectively. Now, she is investigating whether these cells can be engineered to protect the aging brain. These studies could inform immunotherapeutic approaches to mitigate or pre-empt neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.