Student Research Projects


Students often visit the lab and shadow current students to understand the projects and determine if they are interested in the type of techniques we use. Once students determine if they are interested in joining the lab they may take part in the Faculty Student Research Program (FSRP) whcih allows them to gain transcript recognition of the research time that semester. FSRP can be repeated for several semesters. Credit can be gained for research by signing up for NEUR493 Neuroscience Undergraduate Research.

Current Students

Kate Musto'20


A biology major who is pre-med. Kate is competing her Honors Thesis Project. Her project focuses on the goldfish startle response and how the behavior can be modified. She is using lesions of the telencephalon to determine the location of the neural circuit involved in plasticity of the response. Her research has been funded by the rHIP research award.

Marah Alian'20

A neuroscience major who is pre-med. Marah is competing her Honors Thesis Project. Her project focuses on the goldfish startle response and compares the responses to visual stimuli compared to auditory stimuli. She is also using antogonists to sertotonin and dopamine to compare the visually evoked startle response to the auditory evoked response. Her research has been funded by Neuroscience Student Research Award and the Ellen Casey Award for Honors students' research.

Bridget Boginski'20

A neuroscience major Bridget is competing her NEUR493 research Project. Her project focuses on the crayfish and the use of olfactory sensory reception

Sarah Liskowicz'23

A neuroscience major, Sarah began research in the summer before starting her academic first year here so got an early jump on research and was able to be a co-author on a poster to the Society for Neuroscience Annual Conference in 2019 in Chicago. Her work is focused on the effects of taurine on the neural circuit of aggressive responses. Her studies include behavioral analysis of the loser effect, extrcellular electrophysiological recordings of motor axons, and High Performane Liguid Chromatography (HPLC) to better understand the circuit and biochemistry of the circuit. Her research has been funded by Neuroscience Student Research Award and the rHIP award.





Recent Graduates 2018-2019

Cecilia Horchos'19


A neuroscience major who is enters the field of dentistry this fall at SUNY Buffalo. I investigated how caffeine affects invertebrates in terms of behavior and learning. Using crayfish as the model in my research I looked into the mechanistic action caffeine takes in regard to caffeine's action as a phophodiesterase inhibitor and its interaction with adenosine receptors in invertebrates. Cecilia successfully completed her Honors Thesis Project in April, 2019.

Christina Mecca'19



Brittany Thomas '19

Brittany is a Neuroscience major and in the Honors Program. Brittany began working in the lab in her first year and presented her research at the Society for Neuroscience (SFN) National meeting in San Diego in 2016. She worked with Christina Mecca the effect of taurine on aggression in crayfish and is now focusing on taurine's effects on the "loser effect" often found. She will be presenting this work this November at the SFN conference in Washington, D.C. She has begun working on her Honors' Project which is to study the effects of cadmium on development of the visual system using the larval zebrafish as her model. This project involves breeding, pharmacology and use of confocal imaging.

Kathleen Heslin '18

Kathleen is a Biology major and in the Honors Program. Her project involves examining taurine and its effect on depression using the zebrafish as a model.

Theresa Webster '18

Theresa is a Neuroscience major and in the Honors Program. Her thesis project involves a post concussion case study with a focus on aerobic and vestibular eye therapy. Theresa obtained permission to work directly with a patient in a local physical therapy office and administer the aerobic and vestibular eye therapy to measure its use in treating post concussion patients.

Theresa has been accepted to several medical schools and likely will be attending Temple Medical Schook in Philadelphia.

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