Texas Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol

Sixty-three lucky students from 51 different universities across the state of Texas participated in the “Texas Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol” event which took place, March 28, in Austin. The event included a variety of activities for students, such as a tour of the Capitol building, Senate/House committee meetings, and meetings of the full Texas Senate and Texas House of Representatives.

This is the fourth such Undergraduate Research Day that has been conducted in the past few years, showcasing the experience of undergraduate students engaged in research through high-quality poster displays.

This year Texas A&M University-Commerce was represented by student Bernadette Jonson and faculty advisor, Dr. Venu Cheriyath whose post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) research takes a look at PTSD development in zebrafish and its prevention by introducing an antioxidant. Their research took into consideration the similarities between zebrafish and humans—namely, social nature and functional parallels between select brain regions.

PTSD is a psychological disorder with limited treatment options. Although molecular mechanisms that cause PTSD remain unclear, Johnson and Cheriyath hypothesized that zebrafish would demonstrate PTSD and that the antioxidant treatment would help inhibit PTSD symptoms. Their hypothesis proved correct.