Abhiram Gande

Stressor Controllability Effects and Stress-Induced Suppression of Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis

My research will focus on the effects of stress on neurogenesis (the birth of new neurons) in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the adult rat hippocampus. The hippocampus is essential for memory and learning function. Interestingly, chronic stress has been shown to decrease cell proliferation in the DG and reduce the effectiveness of hippocampuss memory function. My project will investigate one potential factor that may prevent stress-induced reduction of neurogenesis: controllability. Studies have shown that animals that can control the onset/offset of stress do not show many negative effects of uncontrollable stress. I will try to recreate the data, found in previous research, in the presence of controls for the stress effect that other studies did not have.

Message to Sponsor

Working in a lab over the summer will provide me an opportunity to work in a laboratory for full-time, without any other academic responsibilities. A quick eight months of research in my current laboratory has made me readily appreciate the amount of work put into and the challenges needed to overcome for even the tiniest breakthroughs. I believe that learning the method of discovery is as important as learning the material, which further motivates me to learn and perfect more research techniques this summer. I welcome the opportunity to go through an extended period of time dedicated to research, so I can understand and practice experimenting in an unhindered, independent manner. If successful, I would love to do a senior thesis on my summer topic.
  • Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Mentor: Daniela Kaufer, Integrative Biology