Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Hello! My name is Deep Sangani, and I am one of the student researchers working with Dr. Dave Pittman this summer. I am a rising senior majoring in chemistry and biology.

Originally, I am from Loris, South Carolina and am currently applying to medical schools. Fun fact: I'm going to be blogging for you this summer!

Now let me introduce the rest of the student researchers!

This is Jayce O'Shields. He is from Pearl, Mississippi and will be a Junior in the fall. He is a biology and humanities major with a concentration in gender studies. He has plans to go to medical school and plans to pursue a career in family medicine, oncology, or cardiology with the hopes of working as a general physician abroad with the Peace Corps. He enjoys researching personal genealogy and reading Dan Brown novels.

This is Savanah Atkins! She is from Sumter, South Carolina and will be a sophomore. She is currently choosing between biology and psychology and wants to go into forensics as a career. She has been working with Dr. Pittman since January and loves watching Intervention. Fun fact: She is the number one painter in SC in 2010 (fancy!)

Together we will keep you posted on all of our research activities for the summer. Until next time!

- Deep

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer 2013 Research Objectives

This summer the Pittman Lab at Wofford College is investigating the effect of injecting chlordiazepoxide (CDP), a benzodiazepine GABA-A agonist), directly into the parabrachial nucleus (PBN) of rats on their ability to lick to taste solutions during brief-access trials.
This is a diagram of the ascending taste signaling pathway from a rat’s mouth to its taste centers of the brain. We are limiting the effect of the drug to the PBN area of the hindbrain. This is an area that we think is responsible to modifying the taste signal as it travels up to the taste perception area of the brain. And we think that the neurotransmitter GABA is involved in the modification of the taste signal.

This summer the Baird Lab at Amherst College is screening several different GABA-A agonist and antagonist chemicals that are more selective than the CDP, benzodiazepine. Once we can determine the effectiveness of the agonist and antagonist chemicals, we will try to block the effect of CDP with the antagonist drugs injected directly into the PBN in the rat’s brain.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summer 2013 - Research @ Wofford & Amherst

This summer we are starting our collaborative joint research projects with students working in the Pittman Lab at Wofford College and the Baird Lab at Amherst. Stay tuned for updates on the activity in each laboratory!  - Dr. Pittman