As an undergraduate at Trinity University, I became interested in how our minds work, but wondered which scientific field best addressed this question. Neuroscience is studied by scientists from all possible disciplines. I share this interdisciplinary view of science in teaching the introductory Biology course, Integrative Biology, and in my upper division, Biology elective and Neuroscience major course, Neurobiology.
My research lab adopts this same philosophy, using a variety of disciplines to study dopamine neurons, the neurons critical for learning motivated behavior. We study the effects of cocaine on the structure and function of synapses on dopamine neurons. However, we see and stimulate neurons from disparate brain areas using light, via a technique called optogenetics.
Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University
B.S., Trinity University
Z. Yang, P.R. Brakeman, S. Zimmerman, G.M. Beaudoin, III, L.F. Reichardt and D.K. Marciano. “De novo lumen formation and elongation in the developing nephron: a central role for afadin in apical polarity.” Development. (2013) 140: 1774-84.
G.M.J. Beaudoin, III-1, S.-H. Lee-1, D. Singh, Y. Yuan, Y.-G. Ng, L.F. Reichardt, and J. Arikkath-1. “Culturing pyramidal neurons from the early postnatal mouse hippocampus and cortex”. Nature Protocols. (2012) 7: 1741-54. 1Equal Contribution.
G.M.J. Beaudoin, III, C.M. Schofield-2, T. Nuwal-2, K. Zang, E.M. Ullian-3, B. Huang-3 and L.F. Reichardt. “Afadin, a Ras/Rap effector that controls cadherin function, promotes spine and excitatory synapse density in the hippocampus.” Journal of Neuroscience. (2012) 32: 99-110. 2, 3Equal Contribution.
D.K. Marciano, P.R. Brakeman, C.-Z. Lee, N. Spivak, D.J. Eastburn, D.M. Bryant, G.M. Beaudoin, III, I. Hofmann, K.E. Mostov, and L.F. Reichardt. “p120 catenin is required for normal renal tubulogenesis and glomerulogenesis.” Development. (2011) 138: 2099-109.