Zayna Gichi - Integrative Biology - Neuroscience
Room 113, MC-17
My work in the Blakely Lab involves the use of pharmacological and genetic techniques to study dopamine (DA) -dependent behavior in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. DA is a neurotransmitter that is heavily involved in motor function, attention and reward signaling in vertebrate and invertebrate organisms. DA abnormalities in humans are associated with diseases like Parkinson's, addiction, and schizophrenia. In C. elegans, alteration of DA signaling by genetic mutations or pharmacological agents causes abnormal behavior, like swimming-induced paralysis (Swip). Using Swip behavior, we can ascertain the functions of the genes involved in the DA signaling pathway, which would eventually help to combat DA-dependent disorders in humans.