Button to scroll to the top of the page.

Research Educator: Thilini Wijesekera

Principal Investigator: Nigel Atkinson

Course options: Spring & Fall


In the Behavioral Neuroscience stream, students will learn behavioral analysis, concepts in neuroscience, and genetics.  Specifically, we will use the Drosophila melanogaster model system and simple behavioral assays to study the effects of alcohol and neuroimmune signaling. Many effects of alcohol on behavior and health may arise from an effect on the neuroimmune system. We will first examine the effect of alcohol on agression (male-male fighting over resources), circadian rhythmicity and sleep, voluntary alcohol consumption, leraning, alcohol tolerance (defined as alcohol-induced alcohol resistance), and alcohol withdrawal systems using behavioral assays and statistical data analysis. Then, we will use Drosophila genetics (mutants, transgenes) to identify genes and neural circuits that produce the alcohol response. Students will have the opportunity to propose experiments of their own design! For more information, check out the Atkinson Lab website!

Yes Yes
Biochemistry, Biology, Medical Laboratory Science, Neuroscience