'MCH neurons in chick embryos' - NSCI 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

Supervisor's Name: Maria Pompeiano

Supervisor's Email: maria.pompeiano [at] mcgill.ca

Supervisor's Phone: 514-398-6080

Supervisor's Website:

Supervisor's department: Psychology

Course number: NSCI 396 (Neuroscience)

Term: Fall 2013-2014

Project start date: Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Project end date: Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Project title: MCH neurons in chick embryos

Project description (50-100 words suggested): Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a neuropeptide found in the lateral and posterior hypothalamus in mammals and birds, and is involved in modulating several physiological and behavioural functions, including the sleep-waking cycle. MCH neurons are silent during wakefulness, and are active during slow wave sleep (SWS) and even more during rapid eye movement sleep (REMS).  EEG recording of chick embryos showed the appearance of SWS and REMS before hatching. The development of MCH neurons has been studied in rats, where they appear as early as the 13th day of embryonic life. No information is available on the MCH system development in birds. In this project, the development of MCH neurons will be studied in chick embryos with the goal of correlating their development with the appearance of EEG activity. MCH-producing neurons will be visualized in brain sections obtained from embryos of different ages by using standard immunohistochemical protocols. The total number of labelled neurons will be estimated using a Leica microscope and the optical fractionator method of stereology.

Prerequisite: 1 term completed at McGill + CGPA of 3.0 or higher; or permission of instructor.

Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade): Final grade shall be based on an evaluation of laboratory performance (50%) and a final written report (50%) by the supervisor,

Project status: This project is taken; however students may contact the professor to discuss other possible '396' projects this term.

How students can apply: Bring a printed copy of this application form and your advising transcript to me during office hours.

Ethics, safety, and training: Supervisors are responsible for the ethics and safety compliance of undergraduate students. This project involves: Handling chemicals.