17/12/2019 - 15h29

Doctoral student does research at University of Toronto, in Canada

Débora Dreher Nabinger is doing a doctoral internship on PUCRS-PrInt

Photo: Personal archive

Photo: Personal archive

Débora Dreher Nabinger, a student enrolled in the Graduate Program in Cellular and Molecular Biology  went to the University of Toronto, in Canada, for a doctoral research internship in the priority area Health in Human Development. The student is being advised by Dr Carla Bonan, who went to the institution on a PUCRS-PrInt mission in October. Deborah studies biochemistry and behavioral neurobiology. At the Canadian institution, the student is under the supervision of Professor Robert Gerlai.

During her time mobility program abroad, Deborah is expected to continue working on the project Zebrafish as a model for studying obsessive-compulsive disorder. Gerlai, Debora’s supervisor, is a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto and has worked with zebrafish for the past 20 years. “In his line of research, most of his research is into animal behavior genetics and neuroplasticity. Out of a number of approaches to animal behavior, most studies are related to social interaction, anxiety, fear, learning and memory. These behaviors are somehow associated with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder”, the student says.

In her period of studies in Canada, Debora will be assessing animal behavior and conducting biochemical and molecular analyses. The main goal of her project will be to correlate OCD findings and establish the zebrafish as an animal model for her study.

Deborah claims that this experience at the university is very good for her in that she has been learning and applying techniques in an international laboratory. This means a lot for her doctoral project and for her own personal career. Lastly, the opportunity will give her a chance to bring new techniques to PUCRS laboratories after she returns.


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