My project in the Grill Lab was to investigate the role of the hindbrain ghrelin receptors in regulating feeding behavior. During the summer, I was given the opportunity to work with undergraduate students, graduate students, and PostDocs within the lab.
For my experiments, I worked with rodent models and administered a knock down virus in order to knock down ghrelin’s receptor, growth hormone secretagogue receptor 1a (GHSR1a) in the brain, where it is widely expressed. I then assisted in a series of experiments in which we administered ghrelin and CCK and collected data on chow intake and body weight following the injection. In a second experiment, we examined the endogenous GHSR1a antagonist LEAP-2’s role. We injected various doses of LEAP-2 into the hindbrain and measured chow intake and body weight for 24 hours following the injection.
Throughout the summer, I gained a lot of knowledge regarding the brain, neural circuits, and how to develop an experiment from start to finish. I focused with my mentor not only on running experiments and collecting data, but also on asking questions and creating experiments to attempt to answer those questions. In order to understand background information on the topic, I read scientific journals and published articles. It was valuable to be able to understand what questions have been asked and how the results supported the data we were collecting. It was a comprehensive crash course in how to conduct research and share your findings.
Working in the Grill Lab was an incredible experience, and I was able to learn so much from my peers and mentors throughout the program. The skills that I developed will be applicable in the future in whatever I choose to pursue.
To see my poster, visit Penn Presents:https://presentations.curf.upenn.edu/poster/endogenous-role-hindbrain-gh...