Neuroscience Research

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Faculty Mentor:  

Professor Xiangmin Xu
Department:  Anatomy & Neurobiology
Office Address:  362 Med Surge II
Campus Phone:  40040
Email:  xiangmin.xu@uci.edu
Faculty Research Web site:  http://xulab.anat.uci.edu/

  
Area of Research:   Biomedical Sciences-Anatomy & Neurobiology/Neurology
  
Expected Duration:   Academic Year and Summer
  
Majors:   Biological Sciences, Computer Science & Engineering, Biomedical Engineering
  
Eligibility Requirements:   See UROP general requirements
  
Project Details:   Dr. Xus laboratory research is centered on neural circuitry, which applies to understanding the neurobiology of sensory perception, learning and memory. Understanding how neural circuits give rise to perception, cognition, and behavior is central to understanding how the brain works. This is also key to understanding the mechanistic basis of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. Our research is focused on understanding cell-type specific neural circuit organization and function, using combined approaches of electrophysiology, optical stimulation and imaging, molecular genetics and viral tracing. The laboratory embraces unique culture and environment conducive to support undergraduate research. The postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and Dr. Xu collectively train undergraduate students in conducting laboratory research. Our projects are ideal for incorporating undergraduate researchers because of a large amount of work related to brain sectioning and immunostaining, slice imaging, and anatomical plotting and neuronal counts, software-assisted data analysis; these elements are well within the training of undergraduates. The students have opportunities to actively learn scientific concepts, methodology, participate in bi-weekly lab meetings and faculty lectures. Upon the completion of their basic training, the students start to work on independent projects, which turn them into good scientists with the abilities of collecting and analyzing data and with the skills of scientific presentations and writing. Undergraduate students have committed a large amount of time and energy to our research program, and we in turn help them with their careers in any way we can. Dr. Xu always helps them prepare for their graduate school and medical school applications and interviews. The lab outcomes have been successful; more than half of the undergraduate students who have worked in our lab have gone on to graduate school or other professional schools. Many mentored undergraduate students receive UROP awards and fellowships. Some of them are included as leading authors or co-authors in our formal publications.
  
Number of Positions:   5
  
Posted On:   8/24/2018
  
Post Until:   9/2023
  
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