Monday, October 10, 2016

Shandna Burroughs examines prokinecticin-2 effects in Syrian Hamsters

Shandna Burroughs at work in the lab
Shandna Burroughs, a graduate student in Dr. Candice Klingerman's laboratory, received the Kristin M. Lynch Memorial Scholarship for graduate students (fall 2016). Her research examines the effects of a protein, prokineticin-2 (PK-2), on reproductive and ingestive behaviors of Syrian hamsters.  She has found that the protein has profound effects on both sets of behaviors.  PK-2 acted as an appetite suppressant, while increasing female reproductive behavior. This research is the first to show that PK-2 can affect both of these behaviors simultaneously and may indicate a potential treatment in the war against obesity, while having a positive side effect - increased sex drive!  Ms. Burroughs is currently examining how PK-2 influences peptide hormones in the blood with Dr. Jennifer Venditti and mRNA expression in the brain with Dr. Schwindinger.  She will be defending her Master's thesis this November and plans on continuing graduate school in a Ph.D. program next fall.