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Postbac Seminar Series: January 18, 2018

Series: Science Skills; Speaking

Jan 18, 2018

This event is recommended for: Postbacs.

Science isn't complete until the results have been shared with others, and talking about your results is one of the important ways of making them public. The Postbac Seminar Series provides a unique opportunity for two Postbacs each month to present their research to a diverse audience of their peers.  The atmosphere is relatively informal and non-threatening.  The series allows Postbacs who attend to learn about the different types of biomedical research being conducted at the NIH while meeting other postbacs.  Read more about the seminar series.

This month's presenters are:

Jacqueline M. Moats, NIA

Title: Healthspan & Lifespan: A view into the Study of Longitudinal Aging in Mice (SLAM)

Summary: Our senior citizen population is growing, in large part due to medical advances that prolong life expectancy. The research goal in our laboratory is to use a longitudinal, naturally aging rodent model in the Study of Longitudinal Aging in Mice (SLAM), a project that utilizes an extensive array of ongoing assessments to evaluate the biomarkers for disease onset, age-related health, and physiological decline. The ultimate goal of the SLAM project, led by the Translational Gerontology Branch Chief at NIA, Dr. Rafael de Cabo, is to translate its findings to the participants of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA). Thus, the SLAM study will serve as a resource for scientists in the aging field world-wide to predict the onset of mortality risks, in various populations.

Bio: Jacqueline Moats received her B.Sc. in Biology as a QBIC & Honors Scholar from Florida International University. She joined the NIA in March of 2016, where she participates in the SLAM project. Her unique contribution includes assisting in MRI imaging studies, where assessments across the lifespan are essential. In addition, Jacqueline assists in other exciting projects in the lab and plans to become a physician-scientist.


Michael Levin, NIBIB

Title: Constructing a 4D Atlas of Caenorhabditis elegans embryogenesis post-twitching

Summary: Prior work has enabled the tracking of all Caenorhabditis elegans nuclear positions over the first 7 hours of embryogenesis. Yet, tracking in the latter 7 hours of embryogenesis is confounded by motion and entangled posture of the embryo. We have developed microscopes and software to address these challenges, planning on using these tools to track all nuclei in the animal from 2-cell stage through hatching. Thus far, we have tracked 46 out of 555 nuclei, and anticipate that continuing progress will yield an in toto nuclear atlas throughout development. Our atlas will aid us in following the timing and patterning of axon guidance, and other neurodevelopmental questions in the embryo.

Bio: Michael Levin graduated B.S. in Temple University, majoring in Biochemistry. He joined the Section on High Resolution Optical Imaging (HROI) at NIBIB, under the guidance of Dr. Hari Shroff. He mainly conducts diSPIM imaging for acquisition, uses computer programming for image processing and analysis, and performs molecular biology experiments for verification purposes. He aspires to pursue PhD.


Julia Licholai, NIDDK

Title: Why do mice over eat on high fat diets?

Summary: With obesity now an epidemic in developed countries, understanding the mechanisms of weight gain is crucial. Rodents maintained on high fat diet (HFD), a controlled diet that reflects a Western diet high in carbohydrates, spontaneously become obese. Furthermore, HFD induced weight gain correlates with increased caloric intake. Yet whether hedonic or homeostatic mechanisms regulate this overconsumption is unclear. We investigated whether overconsumption of HFD is due to impairments in regulating daily caloric intake or due to the hedonic properties of HFD. Chow consumption was measured after feeding mice 25%, 50%, or 90% of daily caloric need in HFD supplements. Although these mice later gained weight and increased their caloric intake on ad libitum HFD, mice did not gain weight or increase their caloric intake when limited HFD supplements were given. This suggests that HFD appropriately engages mechanisms regulating daily caloric intake, but mice overeat HFD despite satiety. Our findings may help in developing weight loss interventions.

Bio: Julia Licholai received her B.S. in Neurobiology from University of Washington, Seattle, where she fell in love with learning about the neurological mechanisms underlying behavior. She currently works at NIDDK in Dr. Alexxai Kravitz's laboratory studying how diet effects the brain.