Name: Alisa Trinh
Hometown: Madison, AL
Graduation Date: Spring 2013
How would you describe your research? The purpose of my research work is to help determine the role and effects of protein PGC1-alpha in Huntington's Disease - a neurodegenerative disorder. We analyze the behavior and genetic material of mice and the physiology of their brains. We also test the motor ability of mice that have different levels of the protein to determine if their motor functions are limited.
When and how did you first get involved in research? I joined the lab in the summer of '10. After being accepted in the undergraduate neuroscience program, I received a list of potential research opportunities and after going through an interview process I was selected to participate.
How has research enhanced your educational experience? The research experience has really shown me how to utilize knowledge that I have learned in class to real life applications. One example is using the Punnett Square to determine the genotype of mice for testing. I t is also exciting to see how different disciplines, such as biology and psychology, are interrelated.
What has been your favorite part of your research experience? My favorite part is testing the behaviors of mice (i.e., seeing how fast the can run, analyzing their movements, etc.) and determining how their actions correlate (or not correlate) with the PGC1-alpha. I also enjoy dissecting the mice because the hands-on experience is more valuable than looking at pictures in a book.
What are your career goals? I hope to either go to medical school or pursue an MD/PhD.