Fun Newsletter, Volume 2, Issue 1, June 2014

Summer 2014 Issue (V2 (1)) of the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience Newsletter * From the president: Future neuroscientists? by Jeff Smith * Bug Brains: Invertebrate nervous systems for outreach by David R. Andrew * FUN Educators of the Year by Mike Ruscio & Chris Korey * FUN with grant writing by Robin Wright * Top ERIN reviews * Get involved with Nu Rho Psi by Andy Mickley * Modeling neural phenomena with stop-motion clay animation by Paula M. Johnson & David S. Leland
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  FUN Newsleer   Too much FUN to handle...   Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience   Inside this issue:   Grant wring exercise (White)   2   ERIN resources   3   Get involved with Nu Rho Psi (Mickley)   4   Stop - Moon Modeling Exer-cise (Johnson & Leland)   5   Listserv how to   5   Bug brains con-nued   6   FUN educators connued   7   President’s desk connued   9   Call for Sub-miissions   10   Volume 2, Issue 1 June, 2014 My inial intenon for submission to the summer edion of our bi - yearly newsleer was to compose a simple, From the desk of the president... type of essay, high-lighng our excellent programs (such as the student travel award, equipment loan pro- gram, brain awareness week poster award, etc) and encouraging all to consider aend- ing the upcoming FUN workshop in Ithaca, August 1 - 3. However, lately I have been thinking about issues facing our students as we mentor them into neuroscience and how, by encouraging them to pursue their interests and follow their passions, we may be placing them on a path that might not lead to the same successes and opportunies that we, the past generaons of sciensts, have had. Before I begin to outline my concerns and challenges, let me rst assure you all that I fully subscribe to the follow your passion and your vocaon will present itself to you From the president: Future neurosciensts?    Je Smith, Ph.D., Current President— Saginaw Valley State University    When most people think about neuroscience research, insects and other inver-tebrates are not the rst animals that come to mind as research subjects. Indeed, the fact that insects and other invertebrate animals even have  nervous systems is oen a revelaon to non - neurosciensts (and, unfortunately, some young aspiring neurosci-ensts). Yet, there are innumerable examples where the study of nervous systems in insects and their invertebrate kin have provided invaluable insights into fundamental principles of neuroscience. These animals can also provide a creave, engaging, and cost - eecve way to educate the public about neuroscience research through interac- Bug Brains: Invertebrate nervous systems for outreach   David R. Andrew, Pert Postdoctoral Fellow — University of Arizona   Thank you to members of FUN for the unexpected honor of being named FUN Educators of the Year. It is truly humbling to be recognized in this way by an organiza-on that is full of equally accomplished educators. We feel extremely fortunate for the encouragement and guidance we have received from our FUN colleagues over the years; not only in regard to our study abroad program, but to our overall career devel-opment. FUN has been a source of inspiraon for both of us. We also owe a debt of gratude to our collaborators in Germany and the intrepid and enthusiasc students who we have been fortunate enough to get to know through this program. Perhaps the most grafying aspect of receiving this award is its recognion of what has become one of the most enjoyable and rewarding endeavors we have undertaken as academ- FUN Educators of the Year Award Statement   Michael G. Ruscio, Ph.D. & Chris Korey, Ph.D. — College of Charleston   Connued on page 9...   Connued on page 6...   Connued on page 7...    FUN Newsletter Page 2 FUN with Grant Wring:   A Semester - Long Organismal Neurobiology Project   Robin E. White, Ph.D — Wesield State University    In Spring 2014, I taught an upper - level neuroscience course tled “Organismal Neurobiology” at Wesield State University. The rst half of the course focused on human neuroanatomy, while the second half covered animal models of neurological disease. During this class, the students were required to write a grant in the form of a Naonal Instute of Health Ruth L. Kirschstein Naonal Research Service Award (NRSA), a common grant for both graduate stu-dents and post - doctoral scholars. This semester - long project was a great learning experience for the students, and I wanted to share it with the FUN community. The Assignment   This mulfaceted project gave students the opportunity to research a topic, conduct hands - on research in the laborato-ry, and write a grant proposal describing follow - up studies. As a result of this assignment, students were able to de-sign, implement, and analyze hands - on research in the laboratory and write a follow - up grant proposal (summave assessment).   By construcng the grant proposal, students were able to demonstrate his/her understanding of the en-re research process.   Furthermore, the 7 - page limit of the grant required students to pracce accurate and concise scienc wring.   The wrien poron of the grant comprised 20% of the nal course grade. The rubric summary (elements that contribute to an NRSA) is described in Table 1. Throughout the semester, students were re-quired to turn in non - graded dras of each of the components, al-lowing me to make comments and suggesons before the students were graded. If a student failed to turn in a dra, 5 points were deducted from the nal grant grade.   Projects   Students were free to pick any neurobiology topic of interest. Exam-ples included: Alzheimer’s Disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s Disease, and Ausm. Students then had the choice of col-lecng data in 3 dierent ways: 1) cell culture experiments using neuronal cell lines, 2) gene quancaon using in situ  hybridizaon images from the Allen Brain Atlas (gene mapping) or, 3) data mining of publicly available microarray data from the Gene Expression Omnibus (Figure 1). All image analysis of cell culture experiments and gene mapping were completed using freely available NIH ImageJ soware. Below are examples of each type of project:   Cell Culture:  Assessing the eects of caeine on astrocyte cell survival by administering mulple doses of caeine to C6 cells and using propidium iodide to idenfy dead cells. Gene Mapping:  Determining the expression of disease - associated genes, such as PINK1 in Parkinson’s Disease, in the developing and adult mouse brain.   Data Mining:  Measuring expression of phagocytosis - associated genes in studies on ausm.   Aer collecng preliminary data, students wrote the Re-search Approach to propose future experiments. Students were encouraged to design experiments using research tech-niques regardless of cost or equipment availability. For ex-   Figure 1. Proportions of students working on project types. Table 1. Project components and percentage of grade.   Component   Percentage   Biosketch   5   Specic Aims   15   Signicance/Background   15   Preliminary Data   30   Research Approach   25   Budget   10    Page 3 Volume 1, Issue 1 FUN with Grant Wring Connued...   ample, one group of students conducted a cell death assay in the cell culture laboratory and proposed to further ex-plore the topic using a transgenic mouse model. Student Feedback   Seventy - nine percent of the students re-sponded to an online survey about the class and grant. When asked to what extent the grant project improved their skills, students reported a moderate improvement in Re-search Design, Research Techniques, and Ability to Read and Interpret Scienc Liter-ature, and a slight improvement in Wring (Figure 2). In closing, this was an excellent project that I plan to implement the next me I teach the class, and I look forward to seeing the ideas that arise!   Acknowledgements: I would like to thank my BIOL0333 students for their hard work, and Dr. Jennifer Hanselman and Dr. Kurt Lucin for submission feedback.   Top Reviewed at ERIN    A Map of the Brain: Allan Jones at TEDxCaltech online here   Strength : Beauful imagery, good historical perspecve of imaging, appropriate discussion of techniques that can be used to image the living and postmortem whole brain and brain ssue. Merges into a nice dis-cussion of what the Allen Brain Instute is trying to accomplish    Weakness:  Since it is a TedX talk, detail is lacking in places (the histological techniques, understanding the genec data), but the video would make a good introducon to brain mapping and genec neuroanatomy.    Review provided by Joe Burdo, Ph.D. — Boston College    A Paent guide to deep brain smulaon, Mayeld clinic online here   Strength : Although video clips don't foster deep learning, this one certainly sparked a lot of discussion. Stu-dents were fascinated by the procedure and a bit taken aback by the footage of the actual surgery (including the hole being drilled through the skull). The length is only 4 minutes, so this can easily be used as a prompt for a wring assignment.  Review provided by Bob Calin - Jageman, Ph.D. — Dominican University   Want more resources?   There are over 600 curated records in   ERIN, the online database of Educaonal Re-sources in Neuroscience.   All acvies are focused on undergraduate educaon and beyond.   Have a recommendaon for next issue’s featured resource?   Submit it to ERIN.     Figure 2. Median responses to the question “To what extent did the grant im- prove your skills in the following areas?”. 0 = No Improvement, 1 = Slight Improvement, 2 = Moderate Improvement, 3 = Significant Improvement.    FUN Newsletter Page 4 Brief history and mission of Nu Rho Psi  :   Nu Rho Psi is the Naonal Honor Society in Neuroscience, founded in 2006 by the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience. We are now an independent, tax - exempt [501(c)(3)], non - prot, grass - roots, organizaon comprised of neurosciensts like you.   The purpose of Nu Rho Psi   is to: (1) encourage professional interest and excellence in scholarship, parcularly in neuro-science; (2) award recognion to students who have achieved such excellence in scholarship; (3) advance the discipline of neuroscience; (4) encourage intellectual and social interacon between students, faculty, and professionals in neu-roscience and related elds; (5) promote career development in neuroscience and related elds; (6) increase public awareness of neuroscience and its benets for the individual and society; and (7) encourage service to the community. Current status of Nu Rho Psi:  The honor society has grown steadily since the rst members were inducted in 2007. We now have over 2000 mem-bers and 43 chapters at colleges and universies across the U.S. Nu Rho Psi   is governed by a Naonal Council elected by our members. The Naonal Oce is located at Baldwin Wallace University and day - to - day operaons are managed by a small part - me sta. Benets to Nu Rho Psi   members : Students who become members of Nu Rho Psi   are selected based on their superior scholarly accomplishments as well as their excellent work in research. Members receive membership cercates and lapel pins as an indicaon of the honor they have earned. Nu Rho Psi   oers compeve travel awards for members to aend and present their research at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeng.  Nu Rho Psi   also oers compeve small grants to facilitate our members’ senior theses or summer research projects. Grants and other awards are available to Nu Rho Psi   Chapters that foster educaonal and community outreach opportunies. Nu Rho Psi   member-ship is for life and it is oen a springboard for the networking and collab-oraon of like - minded colleagues throughout the U.S. We also   mentor our members through publicaons (e.g. The Nu Rho Psi Guide to Gradu-ate School in Neuroscience ) and other outreach acvies of the Society. How to start a Nu Rho Psi   chapter:   Nu Rho Psi   is a federaon of local chapters, each with their own Constuon and By - laws consistent with those docu-ments for the naonal organizaon. Membership in Nu Rho Psi   is granted only through our chartered schools and any accredited college or university in the U.S. may apply for a Nu Rho Psi   charter. The applicaon process is aimed at de- termining the likelihood that the school has the curriculum, resources and desire to foster development of the neuro-science educaon of their members. Quesons about Nu Rho Psi   and the charter applicaon process may be directed to the Execuve Director, G. Andrew Mickley:   Nu Rho Psi: The Naonal Honor Society in Neuroscience   G. Andrew Mickley, Ph.D., Execuve Director of Nu Rho Psi — U     His Holiness the 14 th  The Dalai Lama, was inducted as an honorary mem-ber of    Nu Rho Psi on 2 March 2014 at Macalester College. The Dalai Lama has been a long - me advocate of the use neuroscience in the study of mind. In this picture he displays his   Nu Rho Psi    membership cercate pre-sented by Dr. Eric Wiertelak, President of Nu Rho Psi, and his students.  


Aug 1, 2017
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