CAMS Summer Internship Program Supervisor Template

CAMS Summer Internship Program Supervisor Template
1. Supervisor name & full contact information:
 Name: Catia Teixeira
 Address: Nathan Kline Institute, 140 Old Orangeburg Road
Orangeburg, NY 10962
 Phone: 845-398-5830 / 917-549-6611
 Email:
 Fax:
2. Direct supervisor name & full contact information (if different from above):
 Name:
 Address:
 Phone:
 Email:
 Fax:
3. Name and brief description (1 – 2 paragraphs) of the Project requiring an
Serotonergic modulation of dopaminergic function and circuit development
Serotonin and Dopamine are two key regulators of mood, reward, hedonia and
motivated behavior. Several environmental factors have been shown to alter
serotonin levels during development and lead to behavioral deficits in the adult. For
example, in mice we have seen that exposure to SSRI antidepressants during earlylife leads to depression-like phenotypes in the adult. Work in the lab has also
suggested that the dopaminergic system is affected in mice exposed to SSRIs during
early-post-natal life (equivalent to the 3rd trimester of pregnancy in humans). In this
study we will explore: (a) how the serotonergic system regulates dopaminergic
function, and (b) how changes in serotonin levels during development affect the
serotonergic-dopaminergic system connection and function. Using a combination of
behavioral testing, optogenetics and electrophysiology, in this study we plan to
address first how serotonergic projections modulate activity in dopaminergic areas.
In a second phase of this project we will assess how exposure of mouse pups to the
antidepressant fluoxetine changes the function of the dopaminergic system.
4. Location and hours of Internship (building name, expected availability if
 Fieldwork location: Nathan Kline Institute (Orangeburg)
 Expected start & end times: NKI is located in Orangeburg. A shuttle from NYU
to NKI departs daily at 8am and returns at 6pm. The intern would be limited
by this schedule and so he/she would be expected to work 2-3 full
days/week at NKI.
5. Number of Interns requested:
 1
CAMS Summer Internship Program Supervisor Template
6. Brief summary of proposed Intern responsibilities:
 Mouse genotyping (PCR, electrophoresis)
 Behavioral testing combined with optogenetics. We will use light, coming
from a laser source, to control the activity (exciting or inhibiting) of specific
cell populations during behavioral testing. We will test for anxiety,
depression and motivation related behaviors.
 After the behavioral testing is finished the intern would perform brain slicing
and microscopy to confirm the location of the fiber optic probes in the brain.
 If interested the intern can learn how to perform surgery to implant the optic
fibers that allow for targeting of specific brain regions (optional).
7. Weekly or monthly meetings at which Intern attendance is expected:
 Our department lab meetings occur on Wednesdays which will conflict with
the summer program meetings. The intern will have daily meeting with the
PI to discuss the experiments and is expected to present once his work to the
department. We will adjust the lab meetings to make this compatible with
the summer program.
8. Three goals that the Intern(s) will be expected to achieve during placement:
1) Independently perform mouse genotypings and understand the basics of
mouse breeding and genetics.
2) Independently be able to setup and program the optical stimulation
3) Understand the basic principles of mouse behavioral testing in the context
of mental disorders.
9. Description of planned deliverable(s) at the end of the 12-week Project:
 At the end of the project the intern should make a presentation of the results
acquired during the 12 weeks. This should include the rational of the
experiments, description of the methods and presentation and discussion of
the results.
10. Skills or prerequisite experience required:
 Computer/Software: Excel
 Languages: English
11. Any other requirements (e.g., special clearances required, etc.):
 To work with animals the intern will have to present a certificate from his
doctor that his PPD test is negative (NKI will provide the form to be signed by
the doctor). Other compliance training will be done onsite.