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Serena Sweet


Department: Molecular Physiology & Biophysics

Faculty Mentor: Richard Simerly, Ph.D.

Dissertation Description: Studying the intersection of hypothalamic circuits and metabolism

In the Simerly Lab, we are interested in studying the development of hypothalamic circuits in the context of metabolism. We use a variety of immunohistochemical methods in conjunction with confocal and light sheet microscopy to visualize such circuits, along with optogenetic methods to allow for in vivo imaging of the brain regions of interest. I am interested in defining the circuits in which thirst and hunger intersect. My project will therefore focus on the median preoptic nucleus (MnPO), a defined integratory center for fluid balance. I hope to explore how the MnPO is involved in hypothalamux circuitry that is involved in feeding.