This summer I worked in the Eisch Lab in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at CHOP. The Eisch Lab studies a part of the brain called the dentate gyrus, which is a part of the hippocampus that is involved with mood, reward, and pattern separation. The subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus in one region where neurogenesis (the birth of new neurons) occurs into adolescence and adulthood. I specifically looked at whether neurogenesis in a mouse is increased by a mild traumatic brain injury (comparable to a concussion). Through this research, I learned about how experiments with mice are conducted and how to model injury, as well as how to do immunohistochemistry to stain for specific proteins and molecules. I also learned how to quantify cells at different timepoints in their maturation. The Eisch Lab is a combination of a few different projects, so I was continually exposed to different techniques and approaches to research, so I learned about working with mice and other projects related to drug addiction and withdrawal. Because I’m majoring in BBB, this lab experience was really helpful. I got to refresh my understanding of neurocircuitry, while also learning a lot about the dentate gyrus and how to look at biological processes in the brain. Mentorship was also a major component of my experience, so I was exposed to different areas and types of neuroscience research, which was one of my favorite parts of the summer. I think that working in a lab teaches us how to not only be inquisitive students, but also to be independent learners who take the initiative to try to answer their own questions.