Imaging neural representations of cannabis odors in the mouse olfactory system

Mentor Name:
Matt Wachowiak

Mentor Position:
Professor

Department:
Neurobiology & Anatomy

College:
Medicine

Email:
matt.wachowiak@utah.edu


Project Description:

The laboratory is interested in how odors are detected and represented in the brain, and uses laser microscopy to image neuronal activity in the mouse brain in response to odors of natural importance. One focus is on a class of compounds called terpenes, which are emitted by many plants and which are responsible for the odor of cannabis. The goal of this project is to identify the receptors that respond to cannabis terpenes and to generate maps of the patterns of activity that result from these different terpenes.



Opportunity Type:

Volunteer; This is a work-study research position; Prepare a UROP proposal; Write an Honors Thesis or Senior Thesis; Earn independent study credit


Student Role:

Assist in data collection during imaging ; select and prepare particular odor stimuli in advance of experiments; analyze imaging data.


Student Benefits:

Learn basic neurobiology and principles and practice of microscopy and image analysis. Potential to learn acute surgeries on mice and histological techniques.


Project Duration:

2 semesters minimum, 10 hrs per week. Project could expand in scope and last longer for interested students.


Minimum Requirements:

Intro. Biology and General Chemistry. Physiology, Organic Chemistry courses helpful. Interest/experience in computer programming a plus.