Students Tour Neuroscience, Molecular Biology Labs (with VIDEO)
Janice Naegele, professor of biology, professor of neuroscience and behavior, speaks to first- and second-year students about her neural stem research during a Wesleyan Women in Science Lab Tour on March 3. Nine faculty members opened their labs for the tours, which are on-going through March 29.
Naegele explained how her lab investigates programmed cell death in the brain, focusing on understanding the signals that determine a cell’s decision to live or die. She studies the rodent hippocampus and cerebral cortex, two regions of the forebrain involved in learning, memory and higher cognition.
Elizabeth Evans ’13 describes how she has learned to solder electrodes that are surgically-implanted into the cortex of epileptic mice to monitor their seizure activity.
Nick Woods ’13 explains the how the cryostat machine is used to make thin histological sections from frozen tissue samples.
Students enjoy the Naegele Lab tour.
Biology Department research assistant Stephanie Tagliatela manages the Naegele lab. She explained how the lab uses videotaping and electrical activity recordings to study whether stem cell transplants into mice with temporal lobe epilepsy are able to repair neural circuit damage and suppress seizures.
Maxwell Hellmann ’13 speaks to the lab tour attendees inside the lab’s tissue culture room, about his cell culture work, which involves the sterile dissection and culturing of mouse hippocampal cells. Naegele's lab recently published an article which demonstrated that a protein called STEP plays a role in seizure activity and that mice without the gene are less likely to develop epilepsy. “My project is to grow neurons and do experiments with them to determine the role of STEP and how it is involved in regulating seizures,” Hellmann explained. (Photos by Olivia Drake)
For more information on upcoming tours, go to: http://wesleying.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/weswis.png. Tours continue through March 29. Below is a video of a lab tour in Amy McQueen’s Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Department lab: