Dr. Jeff Beeler — Psychology Department
The lab focuses on mechanisms of neuroplasticity and learning in the basal ganglia using mouse genetic models and techniques. A primary interest is the role of dopamine in adapting learning and behavior to environmental conditions, with an emphasis on corticostriatal plasticity. The lab takes an integrated approach to the study of behavior and underlying neural mechanism utilizing a range of techniques, including homecage operant paradigms, electrophysiology (in vitro patch clamping) and cyclic voltammetry. We are setting up opto- and pharmaco-genetic tools to bridge behavioral and physiological studies. Applied areas of interest include addiction, Parkinson’s disease and obesity. Though the focus of the lab is animal models, we have some human studies underway in parallel with the animal studies, currently focusing on Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. Beeler anticipates new opportunities for undergraduates to do research in the coming months. Potentially interested students can learn more about his lab HERE.
And specifically about what undergraduate research in his lab is like HERE.
If you think you might be interested, fill out the form at the link below and Dr. Beeler will get back to you within a few days for an initial conversation.
Advice from Dr. Beeler
“If you are interested in research in my lab, or research opportunities generally, I encourage you to plan ahead. Students can be frustrated trying to find a lab to work in as opportunities can be limited at times. The best way to ensure you find a lab that you really like and are successful in is to start early. Do not wait until you decide ‘this semester I want to do research.’ Start exploring options early. Thus, even if your interest is further in the future (e.g., Fall), you should complete the form above and start a conversation. If you wait until fall, all available slots may be already filled by students who planned ahead.”
Dr. Short Laboratory — Biology Department
Higher plant seedlings undergo an incredible transformation when they are moved from the dark into the light, but very little is known about the cellular and molecular events that produce these developmental changes. In my laboratory we are using a combination of physiological, biochemical, and molecular techniques to try to understand how these complex processes are regulated in the cell and how the various components of light—color, intensity, duration, and direction—are integrated with other environmental signals to affect growth and development. Currently, there are several major projects that are underway in the laboratory to approach these questions. First, we have isolated a set of mutant plants that lack normal developmental responses to controlled light conditions. Large numbers of seedlings from the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana L. are being tested for specific growth characteristics, and those that are aberrant are examined further. The mutant plants are compared genetically, physiologically, and biochemically with other mutants, and the mutated genes mapped, isolated, and cloned. As additional relevant genes are detected, we will attempt to fit them together and reconstruct basic signal transduction pathways for these critical processes.
Second, we are examining the effects of a variety of environmental stimuli on the behavior of existing light perception mutants. Alterations in the growth, physiology, and gene expression of the mutants compared with the parental wild type plants are giving important clues to the interactions of different signaling pathways in the plant cells. Some of these differences are not apparent until the plants are subjected to changes in their light, nutrient, hormonal, or other environmental conditions. Genetic and physiological experiments are elucidating exciting intercommunication among various sensory perception systems.
Third, we are examining the light-regulatory signalling pathways in an emerging model fern Ceratopteris richardii through a series of physiological and molecular approaches. Existing mutants and inhibitory RNA (RNAi) have allowed us to analyze some aspects of light-mediated development. By isolating genes for various photoreceptors and likely signalling intermediates, and by systematically decreasing the expression of those gene products by RNAi, we have observed important affects of light on cell division, cell growth, tissue morphology, sexual differentiation, and gene expression. To examine this system further, and to open possibilities for further research in fern biology, we are also developing new techniques for the transformation and integration of genetic constructs into the Ceratopteris genome.
Together, these sets of experiments are providing important information about intracellular signaling processes in plants and in all eukaryotes.
Students involved in this project will learn be required to take a Lab safety training course (1.5 hours). They will also be expected to attend lab meeting and participate in rotating lab jobs.
Contact for further information:
Dr. Timothy Short
Office: NSB E-108 Phone: (718) 997-3414 Laboratory: NSB E-137 Lab phone: (718) 997-3567
All lab positions in Dr. Weinstein, Biology department have been filled. Thank You for your interest.