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Thesis Seminars


Mechanisms that Generate State-Dependent Behavioral Plasticity in C. elegans Locomotion
Thesis Proposal

Gregory Reilly - Ph.D. Candidate
Advisor: Doug Portman, Ph.D.

A key issue within the field of neuroscience is understanding how genetic programs in fixed neural circuits are able to guide state-dependent innate behaviors. Innate behavior is governed by the integration of both environmental stimuli and internal state. Biological sex represents a naturally occurring variation in internal state that has been shown to play a role in influencing animal behavior. For example, the simple nematode C. elegans are able to switch between locomotion behavior states based upon both external stimuli an internal state. However, much of this locomotive behavior has solely been studied in the hermaphrodite and not the male C. elegans. Males, unlike self-fertilizing hermaphodites, must integrate two major needs, feeding and finding a mate, to determine the optimal locomotive state. Understanding how mating cues from pheromones, different food stimuli, and biological sex influence C. elegans locomotor states will give key insights into how, on a fundamental level, neural circuits integrate sensory cues with internal state to generate adaptive behavioral flexibility. In this proposal, I will investigate how both pheromone mating cues and food signals influence the locomotive states of both male and hermaphrodite C. elegans.

 Dec 16, 2020 @ 10:00 a.m.

Host: Neuroscience Graduate Program

SOD3 effects on lung-brain coupling and reperfusion injury following acute ischemic stroke - Ph.D. Thesis Defense

Kathleen Miller-Rhodes - Ph.D. Candidate
Advisor: Marc Halterman, M.D., Ph.D.

Acute ischemic stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in the aging population. Although available interventions improve recanalization rates, there remain no therapies to treat delayed ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). The discrete signals responsible for IRI involve a complex cascade of innate immune priming, neuroinflammation, and delayed post-ischemic neurodegeneration. Emerging evidence implicates organ crosstalk in the pathology of delayed central nervous system (CNS) damage following global cerebral ischemia. In this project, we tested the hypothesis that the prevailing inflammatory milieu within the lung is an essential determinant of post-stroke CNS injury. To test this, we investigated the relationship between acute brain ischemia, lung inflammation, and CNS reperfusion injury in the middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model of stroke. In male C57Bl6J mice, ischemia-reperfusion was associated with pulmonary function changes, vascular inflammation, and airway immune infiltration. In post-stroke lung tissue, the loss of endogenous SOD3 correlated with increases in 4-HNE modified proteins indicative of elevated oxidant stress. Conversely, mice that express human SOD3 within type II pneumocytes (TgSOD3) exhibited lower post-stroke levels of 4-HNE protein modification and vessel inflammation versus wildtype controls. TgSOD3 mice exhibited reduced blood-brain barrier (BBB) damage and developed smaller infarct volumes 72 hours post-stroke. We also observed sex-related differences in the SOD3-dependent regulation of post-ischemic IRI. Higher basal expression of lung SOD3 observed in female mice was associated with smaller infarcts, a reduced burden of post-stroke hemorrhage, and lower myeloperoxidase levels, ICAM-1, and fibrinogen. These results collectively implicate lung-derived SOD3 as a modulator of neurovascular injury in acute ischemic stroke. Future work defining SOD3 regulation in the lung, lung-dependent immune priming, and the remote effects of SOD3 on the cerebrovasculature could open up a new field of lung-targeted therapies for stroke and other acute neuroglial disorders.

 Dec 08, 2020 @ 1:00 p.m.

Host: Neuroscience Graduate Program

Multiscale electrophysiology of activity-silent mechanisms for visual feature working - Ph.D. Thesis Proposal

Dennis Jung - Ph.D. Candidate
Advisor: Adam Snyder, Ph.D.

 Oct 29, 2020 @ 1:00 p.m.

Host: Neuroscience Graduate Program

Physiological Quantification and Analysis of Alpha Smooth Muscle Actin and Pericytes in Mouse Retina Under Normal and Hyperglycemic Conditions
PhD Thesis Proposal

Fei Shang - PhD Candidate

 Sep 30, 2020 @ 3:00 p.m.

Host: Neuroscience Graduate Program

The incremental development of auditory syntactic and semantic processing in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
PhD Thesis Proposal

Kathryn Toffolo - Ph.D. Candidate

 Sep 29, 2020 @ 1:00 p.m.

Host: Neuroscience Graduate Program

Lessons from naked mole rat: the role of high molecular weight hyaluronan in Alzheimer's Disease
PhD Thesis Proposal

Fara Zukusilo - PhD Candidate

 Sep 29, 2020 @ 9:00 a.m.

Host: Neuroscience Graduate Program

Manipulating Premotor to Parietal Feedback Behavior during Visually Guided Reach to Grasp Behavior
PhD Thesis Proposal

Luke Shaw - PhD Candidate

 Sep 28, 2020 @ 1:00 p.m.

Host: Neuroscience Graduate Program

The Role of PP1 in Mediating Neuron-oligodendrocyte Signaling to Promote Myelin Biogenesis and Facilitate Learning/Memory
PhD Thesis Proposal

Cody McKee - PhD Candidate

 Sep 28, 2020 @ 12:00 p.m.

Host: Neuroscience Graduate Program

The influence of suppressing corticogeniculate feedback on visual discrimination
PhD Thesis Proposal

Silei Zhu - PhD Candidate

 Sep 28, 2020 @ 10:00 a.m.

Host: Neuroscience Graduate Program

Contrast the functional and structural impact of cortical and retinal damage on magnocellular and parvocellular pathways of the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus
PhD Thesis Proposal

Jingyi Yang - PhD Candidate

 Sep 23, 2020 @ 1:00 p.m.

Host: Neuroscience Graduate Program

The Role of Astrocytic Transglutaminase 2 in Modulating Neuronal Health and Function
PhD Thesis Proposal

Jacob Rudlong - PhD Candidate

 Sep 23, 2020 @ 11:00 a.m.

Host: Neuroscience Graduate Program

Modulation of acute inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease pathology by Gas6-Axl interaction - PhD Thesis Defense

Laura Owlett - Ph.D. Candidate
Advisors: Kerry O'Banion & John Olschowka

 Sep 03, 2020 @ 1:00 p.m.

Host: Neuroscience Graduate Program

The Kinetics of Microglial Ontogeny and Maturation in the Adult Brain - PhD Thesis Defense

Monique Mendes - Ph.D. Candidate
Advisor: Ania Majewska, Ph.D.

 Jul 31, 2020 @ 9:30 a.m.

Host: Neuroscience Graduate Program

Cranial irradiation-mediated dendritic spine loss is microglial complement receptor 3-dependent, sex-specific, and associated with cognitive impairment - PhD Thesis Defense

Josh Hinkle - Ph.D. Candidate
Advisors: Kerry O’Banion, Ph.D. & John Olschowka, Ph.D.

 Jul 16, 2020 @ 10:00 a.m.

Host: Neuroscience Graduate Program

The Mixed-lineage Kinase 3 Inhibitor URMC-099 Exhibits Broad-Spectrum Activity in Mouse Models of Perioperative Neurocognitive Disorders - PhD Thesis Defense

Patrick Miller-Rhodes - Ph.D. Candidate
Advisor: Handy Gelbard, Ph.D.

 Jul 14, 2020 @ 3:00 p.m.

Host: Neuroscience Graduate Program

Prolactin and Neuroprotection During Injury of the Visual System - Master's Defense

Alejandra Rodriguez - Graduate Student
Advisor: David Paul, M.D.

 Jul 13, 2020 @ 9:00 a.m.

Host: Neuroscience Graduate Program

Amygdala Connections Implicated in Social and Nonsocial Touch - Qualifying Exam Neuroscience Graduate Program

Samantha Abbott - Neuroscience Graduate Student
Advisor: Lizabeth Romanski

 Jun 19, 2020 @ 2:30 p.m.

Dynamics and Function of Cerebellar Microglia - Qualifying Exam Neuroscience Graduate Program

Mark Stoessel - Ph.D. Candidate
Advisor: Ania Majewska, Ph.D.

 Jun 10, 2020 @ 10:00 a.m.

Assessing the Effects of Kainic Acid-Induced Auditory Nerve Damage on Envelope-Following Responses in the Budgerigar
Neuroscience Graduate Program Ph.D. Proposal

John Wilson - Ph.D. Candidate
Advisor: Kenneth S. Henry

 Apr 02, 2020 @ 12:00 p.m.

Zoom Conference

Elucidating the role of mAchR signaling in vestibular afferent responses to efferent stimulation
Neuroscience Graduate Program Ph.D. Proposal

Anjali Sinha - Ph.D. Candidate

 Mar 30, 2020 @ 1:00 p.m.

Zoom Meeting

Host: J. Chris Holt