Student Neuroscience Research

Many Amherst Neuroscience majors perform research in laboratories at Amherst College during the academic year and during summers here and elsewhere around the country.

In addition, students may elect to complete an honors research project during their senior year. The honors research project culminates in a written thesis and a public defense. Completion of the honors thesis results in the possibility for graduating with latin honors.

**Here's a Google Doc with Graduate Program solicitations: 

Recent Honors Theses:

Class of 2017

Alifayaz Abdulzahir 

Determining the role of 5-HT in the antidepressant effect of caffeine via the forced swim test in male adolescent rats

Christina Hansen

Contributions of Lateral Line and Auditory Inputs to the Larval Zebrafish Startle Response

Emily Horwitz  

Characterizing the role of presynaptic Discs- large in active zone development

Carlos Johnson-Cruz

Exploring the role of the Orexin-1 Receptor in Risk/ Reward Decision Making in rodents

Rakin Muhtadi 

A structure-function analysis of Rab3-guanine exchange factor (Rab3-GEF) at the Drosophila melanogaster neuromuscular junction

Samuel Short

Contributions of Afferent Neurons to Sensory Adaptation in the Zebrafish Lateral Line

Ruben Valera 

Exploration of the projection from the parabrachial nucleus to the central nucleus of the amígdala via chemogenetic inhibition




Class of 2016

Matthew Bonomo

Activation of central GPP-1 receptors attenuated binge eating by reducing incentive motivation and hedonic taste evaluation.

Topher Flanagan

The Effect of Presynaptic Discs-Large Knockdown on Bruchpilot Localization

Jason Kuan

Understanding the role of the parabracial nucleus in AgRP-mediated feeding behavior.

Steven Ryu

Characterizing the Effects of RIM Domain Deletion on Calcium Channel Accumulation at Active Zones in the Drosophila Neuromuscular Junction

Thomas Sommers (Advisor: Trapani)

Evaluating Cellular Mechanisms of Sensory Adaptation in the Zebrafish Lateral Line


Class of 2015

Peter Alsharif (Advisor: Graf)

Does Rab3 maintain the active zone composition of extended larval synapes

Rushell Dixon (Advisor: Turgeon)

The effects of chronic caffeine consumption in adolescent male and female rats in the forced swim test

Emma Hickman (Advisor: Turgeon)

The effect of chronic caffeine consumption in adolescent male and female Sprague-Dawley rats on two measures of anxiety: elevated plus maze and light/dark exploration behavior

Sabrina Lee (Advisor: Turgeon)

The effects of chronic caffeine consumption on open field behavior and novel object recognition task in adolescent male and female Sprague-Dawley rats

Sarah Martell (Advisor: Baird)

Exendin-4, a potent glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist, attenuates binge eating in a novel rat model of binge eating

David Miao (Advisor:  Turgeon)

ABC transporters in Drosophila intestinal stem cells

Alexander Ordoobadi (Advisor: Trapani)

Hair cell encoding of intensity in the Zebrafish lateral line

Alissa Rothman  (Advisor:  Graf)

The role of RIM domains on calcium channel accumulation at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction

 Kyra Schapiro  (Advisor: Baird)

Exploring the electrophysiological changes of the rat prelimbic medial prefrontal cortex during learning, maintenance, and extinction of associations between tones and outcomes of opposing valence

Alyssa Sherwill  (Advisor:  Baird)

Disentangling the complex roles of hindbrain GABA in the control of feeding behavior