Students share their academic research at university’s annual NEURON Conference

April 19, 2024

Carly Sipper conducts research in a lab.

Carly Sipper ’24 has investigated the effect of Myricetin, a natural glucagon-like peptide 1 agonist on weight, memory and anxiety.

She and her peers will present their research on Sunday at the annual NEURON Conference on the North Haven Campus.

“We were looking at behavioral data so we ran multiple behavioral tests including an open field test, which looks at anxiety levels, and a novel object recognition test which assesses memory. We are still crunching data to see if there was an effect,” said Sipper, a behavioral neuroscience major with minors in biology and applied statistics in data science.

She credits Quinnipiac with preparing her for success by not only enabling her to do her own research in various campus labs, but also take on leadership positions.

“Being a leader gave me invaluable skills and conducting meaningful research helped me build skills that will benefit me in my future career,” Sipper said. “Quinnipiac also allowed me to build meaningful relationships with my peers and my professors because of how small and collaborative the classrooms are, which is so important to have. Learning in this setting allowed me to gain insights from my peers and professors that I truly don’t think I would have gotten if I went somewhere else. Overall, Quinnipiac has an amazing community, especially in the behavioral neuroscience department, which has helped me grow and succeed during my time as an undergraduate.”

She described the NEURON conference as a unique and wonderful opportunity to grow as professionals.

Tressa Pantaela holding a lab vial
Tressa Pantalena '25

NEURON is a great opportunity to show everyone all the hard work that me and my fellow researchers put into this research,” Sipper said. “I really feel like I put my heart and soul into this project and I am so proud of all the work we have accomplished with it so I can't wait to be able to showcase it.”

Tressa Pantalena ’25, who will also present at the conference, has been researching motivational behavior, using operant conditioning.

“The project that I have been leading for three semesters now centers around activation in a part of the brain called the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus (PVT). We are analyzing sex differences and depression-like behavior, and how these factors change the activation of this brain area following a stressor,” she said.

Pantalena, a behavorial neuroscience major with a minor in biology, is continuing to collect data.

“Quinnipiac’s amazing faculty have mentored me from a new college student all the way up to a grad school applicant,” Pantalena said. “It was a privilege to get the chance to participate in experiential learning in the neuroscience laboratory on campus. Without the practical lab skills and research knowledge that I acquired through these experiences, I would not be as well-equipped for my career in research to come.”

After the preliminary data is analyzed for NEURON, she and her team will analyze the entire cohort’s data, and then collecting official results, she said. Once the study is completed, she will be assisting in the writing of a manuscript to be published.

“This will be the second NEURON that I am attending, and I can safely say that it has prepared me for larger-scale networking and conference opportunities in the future. I get to meet students at Quinnipiac and nearby schools that share my passion, and network with graduate schools that I might be interested in attending one day for my PhD,” she said.

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