Ross Gillette: 2007-2009

Ross Gillette

Ross Gillette

rossg@mail.utexas.edu
Undergraduate neurobiology and psychology major

Background:
I am a 3rd year neurobiology and psychology major at the University of Texas at Austin. I am a Resident Advisor at Jester East, a peer advisor with the Biological Sciences advising office, and I am passionately involved with Best Buddies International.

I first heard about the Gore lab from a previous professor who suggested it based on my interest in neuroscience, and I have loved being a part of the group ever since joining it over a year ago.  After graduation, I hope to attend medical school.

I am currently working with a Neuroscience graduate student Jackie Maffucci on a project concerning the prevalence of the expression of the NR2b subunit of the NMDA receptor in the anteroventral paraventricular nucleus (AVPV) of the hypothalamus. The NMDA receptor is a part of the neuronal circuitry that controls reproductive functions, and the NR2b subunit of this receptor appears to be particularly important in this role. We are quantifying the expression of the NR2b subunit protein and determining its regulation by both the age of the animals as well as hormone replacement therapies. This research will provide insight into both the role of the brain in reproductive aging, as well as how the brain is able to respond to hormones, such as estrogens, during this aging process. My contribution to the project lies in the labeling of the NR2b protein in the hypothalamic AVPV tissue (immunohistochemistry) and in the quantification of individual neurons in the hypothalamus that are expressing this particular protein (stereology).