As she nears graduation, neuroscience major Allison Mogul ’18 already has some significant accomplishments on her resume, namely published research in the Journal of Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and presentation of her findings at the Society for Neuroscience conference.
“I like that neuroscience incorporates a variety of different disciplines, including chemistry, biology, psychology and behavior, and even physics. Because of this, I have a great amount of flexibility regarding where I take my degree in the future, a freedom I feel lucky to have,” said Mogul.
As part of her smaller individual research project, Mogul knocked out a cell surface receptor — which functions to import fatty acids into the cell — in cultured mouse liver cells. She then examined cell growth resulting from this alteration.
Hometown: New York, NY
High School: The Trinity School
Mogul also worked on a larger project with mice, creating a new model of atherosclerosis (ATX), a condition that results in the buildup of plaques in the arteries which in turn contributes to cardiovascular defects. Mogul and the NYU team used synthetic molecules to rapidly induce ATX as well as reduce the condition. The work Mogul did at NYU to create this rapid model of ATX was published online in 2018 in Circulation Research, the official journal of the American Heart Association.
The following summer, Mogul worked with Robinson to research the largely uninvestigated role of the retrosplenial cortex in learning and memory. The results of this study were published online in 2017 in the Journal of Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.
After finishing her work with Robinson, Mogul spent the remainder of last summer as a research assistant at City College’s Department of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Neuroscience. Mogul worked in the lab examining the association between Alzheimer’s and the expression and function of the ARC protein, a protein important for learning and memory, using human and mouse hippocampal tissue. These findings were presented at the Society for Neuroscience in November 2017.
The research Mogul completed at City College inspired her thesis work at Hamilton: a study on the effects of stress on the rat brain. After inducing long term and short term stress onto rats, Mogul examines two important brain regions for learning and memory. By performing a test that separates proteins based on molecular weight, she was able to determine how much protein was in each brain region, results that may provide insight into the mechanisms of the stress response in the brain. Mogul completed her thesis under the collaborative guidance of Assistant Professor of Psychology Siobhan Robinson and Associate Medical Professor Dr. Hoau-Yan Wang at City College of New York (CCNY).
After graduation, Mogul will work for two years as a research assistant at a National Institutes of Health (NIH) lab in Bethesda, Md. She will explore the neutral control of metabolism and energy/ temperature expenditure. Following this, Mogul hopes to enroll in an MD/Ph.D. program.