Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2008
Mentor: David W. Russell, Ph.D.
Department: Molecular Genetics
Room number: L5.262
Mail Code: 9046
Phone number: 214 648-2007
Project title: Role of geranylgeraniol in hippocampal long-term potentiation.
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): N/A
Animal subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): 0557-07-03-1
Project Type: Animal-based
Brief Description of Project: Research in the Russell laboratory has shown
that a side-product of the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway, geranylgeraniol,
is required for the strengthening of synapses in response to electrical stimulation
of hippocampal slices. Ms. Lin's project will involve the use of bisphosphonate
inhibitors that block the synthesis of geranylgeraniol and the determination
of how this inhibition affects synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. Wild-type
mice will be used as sources of hippocampal slices, which will be studied using
sophisticated techniques of electrophysiology. This research explores the link
between cholesterol metabolism and brain function and is relevant to learning
and memory formation.