Old Lyme resident Alexandra Trausch, a member of the Class of 2015 at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass., will be one of 50 students at the College who will be conducting research with Stonehill faculty this summer through the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Program.
Trausch will be working with Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience John McCoy on a project titled “Social Cognition and Schizophrenia & Improving Cortical Function and Cognition in Schizophrenia.”
Trausch’s project will utilize both brain slice (in vitro) and freely behaving (in vivo) specimen models of gamma band oscillations to determine if drugs targeting mGluR5, a type of glutamate receptor, can rescue schizophrenia-like abnormal gamma oscillations. In addition, Traush will attempt to identify how mGLUR5 affects the developmental maturation of the brain circuits responsible for generating gamma oscillation. This research could lead to the development of new classes of drugs for improved treatment of schizophrenia. Trausch and one other student, both neuroscience majors, will present their research findings at the regional NEURON conference.
The scholars and their faculty mentors are the 19th group to work under the SURE Program, which provides students with an opportunity to perform significant, publishable research under the guidance of an experienced faculty researcher.
The research experience will help to provide Stonehill students with a competitive advantage in graduate and professional school applications and in post-college employment opportunities, as well as to provide assistance to faculty in research activities.
Trausch was a member of the Class of 2011 at Lyme-Old Lyme High School. She is the daughter of Joe Trausch and Grace DeGrooth Trausch of Old Lyme.
Stonehill is a selective Catholic college located in Easton, Mass. It has over 2,500 students in 80+ academic programs in the liberal arts, sciences, and pre-professional fields.