Kimberly Nixon
Job Title
Research Interests

The Nixon Lab studies neuropathology associated with alcohol use disorder. We specifically focus on the role of adult neural stem cells (adult neurogenesis) in the damage caused by alcohol, but also are one of the few groups in the country to study how the brain recovers from alcohol dependence.  We also study the role of microglia in these processes and especially within how or why adolescents are more susceptible to developing addiction or substance use disorders.  We utilize rodent models in our studies of alcohol dependence.  Two semester commitment required. Students will start out as an apprentice, learning basic lab tasks and neuroscience techniques with postdoctoral fellows or senior graduate students. Opportunity for independent projects or honors projects are available for motivated students after 1-2 semesters of experience.

Typical student contributions to my research
rodent model of alcohol use disorder (dosing rats or mice)
preparing brain tissue for assays (brain dissection, transcardial perfusion, vibrating microtome sectioning)
behavioral tests
computer aided image analysis (quantification of immunohistochemical labeling of brain tissue)
Comments about previous experiences working with students

Nixon Lab typically has 2-3 students working in the lab throughout the year and more in the summer. We welcome students to experience all aspects of our lab methodologies and experiences. 8-10 hours a week and at least 3-4 hour blocks are minimum time needed. We have sponsored senior undergraduates to present at national meetings and others have gone on to earn authorships on published papers. Undergraduates work along side graduate students and postdocs in the lab until there is mutual comfort in their independent work. We have lots of methods that are the perfect first step into neuroscience techniques. Sophomores or juniors who are considering PhD study in psychology (behavioral neuroscience), neuroscience, or pharmacology preferred. 2 semester commitment required.


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