Biomedical Engineering undergraduate, Laura Ziegler, has had her research accepted for publication in Neuroscience Letters as a major part of a peer-reviewed paper. Laura was previously the recipient of two Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) awards. Her collaborators include Primary Investigator and BME Adjunct Professor, Michael B. Pritz, M.D., Ph.D., Advisor and BME Associate Professor, Ed Hsu, Ph.D., and BME Graduate Student Tyler Thompson.

Congratulations, Laura!

Read more about her research below:

Alligators are important species in evolution biology since they are the reptiles closest to birds.  Magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) has emerged as the preferred method for noninvasive characterization of white matter architecture, but has been mostly used to study myelinated brains.  The aim of our project was to determine whether it can be applied to alligator brains, which consist of unmyelinated or thinly myelinated fibers.  We performed DTI, and as demonstration, used computation reconstructions called tractography to visualize the alligator midbrain auditory circuit, where these fiber types are most prevalent. By comparing the results to known findings from light microscopy and experimental tract tracing, we found that DTI and tractography accurately identified this circuit.