Mariah Wu

Entering Class - 2015

E-MAIL: mmwu@umn.edu

Undergraduate 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

Description of Graduate Research:

The Thayer lab is focused on delineating the molecular mechanisms underlying HIV neurotoxicity, and studying the role of the endocannabinoid (eCB) system as a modulator of disease processes. My project is examining how HIV viral proteins affect the eCB system. Changes in eCB signaling may impair the neuroprotective capability of the eCB system to combat synaptodendritic damage that is thought to underlie the neurocognitive deficits seen in nearly half of all HIV-positive individuals. I employ a combination of whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology in primary hippocampal neurons and live-cell confocal imaging techniques.

    Graduate Publications:

    • Green MV, Raybuck JD, Zhang X, Wu MM, Thayer SA. Scaling synapses in the presence of HIV.  Neurochem Res. 2019 Jan;44(1):234-246.

    Graduate Abstracts:

    • Wu MM, Thayer SA. HIV Tat impairs endocannabinoid signaling at excitatory synapses. Poster presentation at the 48th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience; November 2018.
    • Wu MM. Modulation of the endocannabinoid system by HIV neurotoxins. Oral presentation at the Graduate Program in Neuroscience colloquium series. Minneapolis, Minnesota; May 2018.
    • Wu MM, Thayer SA. HIV Tat impairs endocannabinoid signaling. Poster presentation at the 24th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society on NeuroImmune Pharmacology. Chicago, Illinois; April 2018.
    • Wu MM, Thayer SA. Prolonged exposure to HIV-1 Tat modulates the endocannabinoid system. Abstract for poster presentation, Graduate Program in Neuroscience Annual Retreat, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2017.

    Graduate Awards and Honors:

    • 1st place winner at the annual PharmacoNeuroImmunology retreat poster competition, 2018.
    • 2nd place winner at the 3rd annual Wallin Neuroscience Discovery Day poster competition, 2018.
    • T32 DA007097 NIDA PharmacoNeuroImmunology training fellowship, 2016-present.
    • T32 GM8471-23 Neuroscience training fellowship, 2015-2016.

    Graduate Program Committees:

    • Marketing and Recruitment Committee 2018-2020

    Professional Memberships

    • Society for Neuroscience

    Thesis Committee Members

    Rotations

    Research Categories

    • Neurodegenerative Diseases & Neural Injury
    • Synaptic Plasticity & Learning

    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.

    mariah