Exploring structural and molecular alterations to prefrontal pyramidal neurons in suicides with a history of childhood abuse - NSCI 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

Supervisor's Name: Gustavo Turecki

Supervisor's Email: gustavo.turecki [at] mcgill.ca

Supervisor's Phone: 514 761-6131

Supervisor's Website: https://mgss.ca/

Supervisor's department: Psychiatry

Course number: NSCI 396 (Neuroscience)

Term: Fall 2017

Project start date: Monday, January 8, 2018

Project end date: Monday, April 16, 2018

Project title: Exploring structural and molecular alterations to prefrontal pyramidal neurons in suicides with a history of childhood abuse

Project description (50-100 words suggested): It is estimated that over 30% of adult psychopathology and disrupted patterns of behaviour, are robustly linked to childhood maltreatment (CM). A major challenge faced by CM research is to understand how long-lasting effects of early-life experiences are biologically embedded. Animal models have been crucial in our understanding of morphometric, epigenetic, and transcriptomic alterations impacted by early life stress. These studies have demonstrated that early life stress results in decreases in pyramidal cell layer size as well as alterations to dendritic arborization, spine density and cell body volume. It is, however, unknown whether these effects are present in humans with a history of childhood abuse. This NSCI 396 project will investigate both morphometric and molecular alterations to prefrontal layer V pyramidal neurons in suicides with versus those without a history of childhood abuse.

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): 40% Lab Work; 10% Research Presentation; 50% Research Report

Project status: This project is taken.

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