Our undergrads bring their best brains to UURAF

Toria Fex received first place in Neuroscience for her section at UURAF this year, where she presented the fruits of the cocaine reward devaluation study she worked on in collaboration with grad student Bing Mo. The study involved rat jugular catheterization surgeries to facilitate self-administration of the drug during behavioral testing; Toria and Bing managed to attenuate drug-seeking behavior in these animals through an apparent devaluation of the memory of past cocaine rewards.

Kate Sapkowski presented the culmination of her efforts in the long-running interval timing/ovarian cycle hormone studies helmed by grad student Lauren Raycraft. In addition to daily manual swabs to check cycle stages and many rounds of behavior, the study also incorporated DREADDs and Immunohistochemistry.

Malavika Eswaran presented the results from her work with DO/PhD Athanasios Kondilis, which examined the impact of GHSR cell expression and sex on vulnerability to dietary obesity. The study utilized viral labeling of house-bred transgenic mouse lines to enable us to count GHSR-expressing cells in the ventral hippocampus.