SlugLab Summer 2024

It’s summer and that means the SlugLab is cooking. This summer we have a great roster of student researchers:

  • Elise Gamino, returning for her 2nd summer in the lab
  • Diana Wittrock, also returning for her 2nd summer in the lab
  • Nelly Musajeva, who is also returning for another summer in the lab
  • Carys McFaul, new to the lab this summer, but already fitting right in

I’m a bit delayed in getting this post up in part because we jumped out to such a strong start in the lab this summer. We’ve been working on:

  • Identifying the transcriptional changes that occur after forgettable and unforgettable forms of long-term sensitization with single-cell resolution. This is quite a complex and time-consuming project that has required really upping our game in terms of dissection skills and RNA isolation. We’ve got 2 rounds in, and have learned alot — the last 2 rounds of data collection will be critical to getting a big chunk of this project done.
  • Tracking the impact of long-term sensitization training on methylation. We’ve been collecting data to help enable us to sort out if there really are learning-induced changes in methylation; we’ll be measuring methylation in CPG islands in the promoters of CREB1 and egr.
  • Piloting a project on circadian rhythms in the eye of Aplysia – a project that has so far not been going that great, but which I feel confident we can master.
  • Also piloting a project on the impact of sensitization training on heart rate. This has also been off to a rocky start this summer… but fingers crossed we can work this project out.
  • Wrapping up our collaboration with the UofI bioniformatics core to produce a new chromosome-length Aplysia genome.

Busy? You bet.

Our DU photographer, Ryan Pagelow, stopped by last week to document the Sluglab in action. Here are the results.

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