Hello, my name is Kyu Ro and I am a neuroscience major at University of Colorado Boulder. I am a first generation Korean-American and my interests are being involved in the community and playing sports. I am proud to be a part of the McNair Scholars Program and they help push me further into my career interests of MD/PhD. I worked in the Root Lab in the Neuroscience Department and my research focused on the cellular dissections of food intake.
Research: Cellular Dissections of Food Intake
The purpose of this research was to pinpoint which specific ventral tegmental area (VTA) cell-types are food-type sensitive. This region is considered the brain’s “reward center” because of its increased neuronal activity in response to food, money, romantic partners, and drugs. VGluT2::Cre/VGaT::FlpO mice will be injected with adeno-associated vectors encoding the calcium sensor GCaMP6m. The cells of interest are the Glu/GABA neurons and these neurons are activated by different types of consummatory rewards – sugar, fatty, and starchy. The neuronal activity can be recorded through the calcium levels from the sensor. These findings can help lead to a breakthrough in obesity research.
Research Faculty Mentor:
David Root, PhD., Assistant Professor
Psychology and Neuroscience, Center for Neuroscience