Research Story

Carol Dwan

Graduated May 2006 | Major: Psychology

"For my senior honors thesis I will beexamining the effects of a new compound, RY-24, onlearning and memory in albino rats. This compound is a benzodiazepine inverse agonist with a selective affinity for the hippocampus. It was designed this way to have effects opposite thoseof standard benzodiazepines such as Valium (which causes memory problems and sedation) but only affect the hippocampus, amemory center in the brain. In this way the drug may cause learning enhancement but should not affect other sensory or motor areas of the brain. Working in this lab over the summer allowed me to get involved with most of the projects in the lab and to gain an understanding of the connections between them. I have learned about animal care and use, drug administration techniques and the development of every aspect of a new experimental procedure we created over the summer. Our labalso readscurrent and past research to familiarizeourselves with the reasonsfor our studies.This is one of my favorite aspects of the lab, the sharingof experience and ideas between researchers; without each others input our jobs would bevastly moredifficult. My colleagues in the lab and I will be presenting a poster at a local conference this fall and at the Neuroscience meeting in Washington D.C. in November. This opportunity to present our research to the larger scientific community will be one of the high points of the year and we are all very excited about it."