Marina Guizzetti

    Email Address:
    College: Medicine Department: Psychiatry
    Title: Associate Professor
    Office: JBVA room 7271 Phone: 312-569-8684
    Participating in the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Awards program: Yes

    Research Interest:
    The main research interest in my laboratory is the identification of novel mechanisms of glia-neuron interactions involved in brain development and neuronal plasticity. In particular, we are investigating mechanisms of neuronal development driven by astrocytes altered by ethanol and implicated in learning and behavioral abnormalities associated with in utero alcohol exposure, as seen in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), as well as in cognitive impairments observed in individuals who abuse alcohol.
    Astrocytes are able to modulate many neuronal functions, including neurite outgrowth and synaptogenesis, by secreting neuroactive proteins and peptides and by regulating the composition of the extracellular matrix, creating microenvironments that can be permissive or inhibitory of neuronal differentiation. Alcohol strongly alters the equilibrium of permissive and inhibitory cues released by astrocytes therefore dramatically affecting neuronal development.
    Furthermore, we are interested in characterizing the epigenetic mechanisms
    involved in the effects of ethanol on astrocytes leading to alteration in astrocyte secreted proteins.

    Minimum time commitment in hours per week: 10-12

    Qualifications of a Student:
    Minimum GPA of 3.0 and major in biological or biomedical sciences preferred.

    Brief Summary of what is expected from the student:
    After short training, students will be expected to carry out in vivo and in vitro experiments such as preparation and care of primary astrocyte cultures, Western blot, immunocytochemistry, biochemical assays...

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