North Central College neuroscience students Madison Cromwell ’17, Zachary Orban ’18 and Adam Lundquist ’16 presented their research projects at the 46th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN). It was held Nov. 12-16 at the San Diego Convention Center.
SfN is the world’s largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The national conference included some 30,000 people from 80 countries. The students’ projects were accepted to SfN last June after a peer-reviewed process of their poster abstracts.
Though only Cromwell, Orban and Lundquist presented, research for each poster project was conducted by a team of at least six additional North Central students. Advised and mentored by Margaret Gill, North Central assistant professor of neuroscience, these students have been researching behaviors related to cocaine usage among “differentially reared” rats, who are raised in either socially enriched or impoverished conditions. After rats learned to self-administer the drug, the students measured the effects of pharmacological interventions on cocaine-seeking behavior. All three studies then quantified protein or receptor expression in the brains of the cocaine-exposed rats.
Cromwell and Orban are majoring in psychology with a minor in neuroscience—a program at North Central dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of the nervous system. Neuroscience will be offered as a major, beginning fall 2017. A graduate of North Central, Lundquist is pursuing a Ph.D. in neuroscience at the University of Southern California.
By Stephanie Passialis ’17