Imaging neural representations of natural odors in the mouse brain

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. The goal of this project is to map the neural patterns of brain activity that represent natural odors and to ultimately identify the particular receptors that are most sensitive to the key components of these odors. The project involves working with live mice, and collecting and analyzing brain imaging data.



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.