This interdisciplinary project will incorporate the disciplines of Neuroscience and Biology. However, the project is specifically housed within the Hope College Department of Biology.
In this research project, we will examine cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal regeneration and repair following damage in the olfactory system of zebrafish.
The olfactory system allows organisms to detect odor signals and interact with their environment, mediating survival. The olfactory system of zebrafish presents a remarkable degree of regeneration and neuroplasticity, making it an ideal model for the study of regeneration and repair mechanisms following injury.
Lesions of the olfactory system produce neuronal death and degeneration, followed by complete neuronal regeneration and repair. These lesions induce sustained production of new neurons (i.e. neurogenesis).
Our main goal is to answer the following question:
Is neurogenesis a central component of regeneration and repair in the lesioned olfactory system?
To answer this, we will study the timeline of neurogenesis and neuronal fate in the olfactory system by using different neuronal markers. This will allow us to track the type and location of newly-born neurons.
We will employ the following techniques: microsurgery, fluorescent immunohistochemistry, whole-mount 3D tissue preparations, and confocal microscopy.