Dave, Water Lilies & Dragonflies

Dave got a great start his freshman year working in Dr. Alice’s research lab, but he has come a long way from cleaning mice cages and washing glassware.  We’re so excited for him.  His work does still involve mice though.  The following is his description of what he will be doing during his internship at the National Institute of Health.

Since it would have been too hard explain over the phone, this is what is going on at the lab that I’ll be at.   I will be working at the National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). The lab does work in auditory neuroscience similar to my lab at UR, but from a much more physiological perspective as opposed to the behavioral and systemic angle of UR’s lab. NIDCD’s research is concerned with the biophysical mechanisms of neural plasticity at work in the auditory pathway. They do this research using techniques like voltage and current clamp recording in brain slice preps, two-photon microscopy, and in vivo recording of live decerebrate mice.

Decerebrate means they have no cortex but they still have brain stem and mid-brain function.  It allows for recording in live-ish mice without sedation, which has effects on the behavior of the neurons.  This last technique is what I will be doing.  One of the post-docs in the lab will be leaving in a few months and she was the resident expert on in vivo recording so I will learn under her and take over once she leaves.  In essence, I will be performing brain surgery on mice and putting electrodes in their brains. Very exciting!

Right now it is simply a matter of paperwork.  I have to complete my application packet and send them some other documents and then it is simply waiting for approval from the central administration.  There are a lot of kids from Rochester working in the DC area and I have been talking with them about housing.  Ideally I would be starting in early September but that is dependent on the paperwork.  I’m looking at cars in the Rochester area and will keep you up to date on that as well.

Evil Mom Lady and that man that she married both recommend the wondorous mass transit system of the greater Washington DC area.  I believe that it is called Metro, as in The Metro.  Much easier and cheaper than driving, plus you get to meet all sorts of interesting people on The Metro.

3 thoughts on “Dave, Water Lilies & Dragonflies

  1. 2 things — a car. the people I know that moved to DC got rid of their car. when necessary, they borrow or rent. and maybe they have Zipcars there?

    “It allows for recording in live-ish mice without sedation,”
    live-ish. yes. that’s the Dave I know!!!

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