Research topics: To combine optogenetics,electrophysiology and behavioral studies to understand pain- and addiction-related brain circuitry.
Techniques: We use genetic mouse models to study pain and addiction circuits; we would love help with behavioral assays during optogenetic or chemogenetic activation of specific cell populations in the periaqueductal gray and ventral tegmental area.
Website: Kauer Lab
Seeking undergrads for: Academic year, Summer
Location: On-campus research projects only
Required skills: None
This lab is particularly interested in mentoring: Undergrads from backgrounds that are underrepresented in STEM, Undergrads without previous exposure to laboratory research, Undergrads from local community colleges
How to apply: Contact Dr. Kauer (email@example.com)
Project information: 1. We recently discovered that the peptide, CCK, is released from the somatodendritic regions of dopamine neurons and modulates synaptic strength in the local region. Infusing CCK into the VTA reduced feeding behavior and locomotion. We are excited to learn more about how the most abundant brain neuropeptide modulates mouse behavior using local infusion studies during behaviors like binge eating or drug-induced place preference.
2. In a separate study, we are tracking how driving VTA dopamine cells chemogenetically produces analgesia in behavioral tests. We could use your help studying these processes in mice!