Mariah Wu

Entering Class - 2015

E-MAIL: mmwu@umn.edu

UNDERGRAD INSTITUTION AND MAJOR:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.S., Molecular & Cellular Biology and Psychology, 2015

GRADUATE ADVISOR: 
Stanley Thayer, Ph.D., Department of Pharmacology

THESIS COMMITTEE MEMBERS: 

DESCRIPTION OF GRADUATE RESEARCH: 
Our lab is interested in how HIV neurotoxins and cannabinoids affect synaptic plasticity. We are interested in the endocannabinoid system because it provides on-demand endogenous neuroprotection against excitotoxic insults. My research aims to examine modulation of this system following exposure to HIV Tat and gp120. I use optical imaging and electrophysiological techniques on primary hippocampal cultures to determine the effects of these neurotoxins on CB1 signaling, and endogenous cannabinoid tone. 

RESEARCH CATEGORIES: 

  • Neurodegenerative Diseases & Neural Injury
  • Synaptic Plasticity & Learning

GRADUATE LEVEL AWARDS AND HONORS:

  • NIDA PharmacoNeuroImmunology (PNI) training program, 2017

GRADUATE LEVEL ABSTRACTS:
Wu MM, Thayer SA. Prolonged exposure to HIV-1 Tat modulates the endocannabinoid system. Abstract for poster presentation, Graduate Program in Neuroscience Annual Retreat 2017, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

ROTATIONS: 

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE MN? 
The faculty here are conducting top-tier research, especially in the field of neurodegenerative disease. Additionally, the sense of camaraderie among of fellow graduate students and faculty is incomparable to any other program I have experienced.

Wu 2017