Huge congratulations to senior Allyson Herriges who successfully defended her honors project on Tuesday April 18th!
Allyson’s project was titled Evaluating the Impact of Zofran Exposure on Embryonic Neural Development in Zebrafish Using a Multi-Method Approach. During the defense, Allyson’s project advisor Dr. Drea was joined by committee members Dr. Lassiter and Dr. Kennedy-Metz.
Below is the abstract from Allyson’s paper:
“Ondansetron, commonly known as Zofran, is commonly prescribed as an antiemetic to pregnant females experiencing severe morning sickness. Zofran is often only given when the mother’s malnutrition poses a much greater risk to the fetus than exposure to the drug. While the drug may cause morphological abnormalities in development, relatively little has been done to examine gene expression changes. In this study we identified four genes (shank3a, shank3b, gabra1, and hgma2) with important links to neural development and, using Danio rerio, evaluated the expression of these genes after embryos were exposed to Zofran in the early stages of development. We also looked at behavioral development, including tail-flips, startle response, and optical response. Preliminary qPCR analysis has shown dysregulation in the specified genes. Embryos exposed to Zofran at laboratory levels showed a significant increase in tail-flipping at 28hpf, with a downward trend correlating to exposure level. These findings may offer insight into potential correlations to neurodevelopmental disorders, like autism spectrum disorder and ADHD, in children of mothers who used the drug while pregnant, and in turn allow doctors to better treat these conditions.”
Allyson will be graduating with honors on May 6th, 2023. Congratulations, Allyson!
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