HRP SU23-3: Research Opportunity with Dr. Srdjan Antic

Project Mentor

Dr. Srdjan Antic
Department of Neuroscience

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Description

Project Description This is a basic science research project aimed at understanding cellular determinants of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We use an animal model of AD — mice carrying specific genes, which trigger development of amyloid plaques in the cerebral cortex. By the means of brain slice technology, electrophysiology (synaptic stimulation), and optical imaging (calcium and voltage imaging) we seek to determine if synaptic transmission in disease-free animals (Control) is any different from that occurring in the AD model animals developing amyloid plaques. The student will learn software for analysis of the optical imaging records (physiological), organization and presentation of measurements, some basic histology techniques for detecting plaques in saved brain sections, and if interested, the student may perform optical imaging of synaptically evoked depolarizations in brain slices working together with a postdoc.
Project Direction Should we detect specific physiological deficits in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), we plan to investigate cellular mechanisms of these specific deficits. More importantly, we plan to attempt procedures (e.g., injections of drugs) which may: [1] reverse the formation of plaques, or [2] alleviate synaptic dysfunction (e.g., restore amplitudes of synaptically evoked cortical depolarization, or both.
Mentorship and Supervision Each workday, a postdoctoral associate or principal investigator will meet with the student and discuss plans and ongoing issues for that workday. We will monitor student’s progress through written reports, verbal discussions, and presentations at the lab meetings. We will provide feedback to the student via verbal discussions, and we will generate two rounds of written feedback: at half-time (5 weeks) and at the end of the research program (10 weeks).
Student Qualifications We seek students with basic data management skills (Excel spreadsheet), a healthy sense of right and wrong, a normal dose of curiosity, and a professional demeanor. Students should be capable of following laboratory procedures after being provided detailed explanation. Importantly, we provide continuous guidance to students on a daily basis, if necessary. These procedures may include data analysis using software, data tabulation, and data plotting using Excel. For students interested in hands-on experience with experimental measurements, we provide access to preparation of physiological solutions, preparation of drug solutions, perfusion of brain slices, synaptic stimulation electrodes, and optical recordings.
Summer Schedule Options Research Dates: May 22 to July 28, 2023
Schedule: M-F, 9am-5pm
Project Continuation Fall 2023, Spring 2024
Academic Year Time Commitment 6 hours/week
Possible Thesis Project No


Submit an online application for this research opportunity at The application deadline is Monday, January 30, 2023.

This application requires a cover letter and a brief statement of career interests. References should be available upon request.