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Chelsea Hutch

Chelsea HutchCooperating Doctoral Program: Neuroscience

EITS Track: Biomedical Toxicology

Education: B.S., Interdisciplinary Study in Behavioral Neuroscience, The Ohio State University

Research Interests:
I am interested in investigating neuroprotective and neuroproliferative pathways using the olfactory system as a model. The olfactory epithelium is an ideal model for studing neuroregeneration becasue it is exposed to airborne pollutants and toxicants, causing a constant turnover of cells. Recently, more attention has been given to endocannabinoids and their role in neuroprotection and neurogenesis in the brain. One possible signalling pathway by which neurons could receive information about injury or initiate neuroregeneration is through communication with surrounding glial cells. Much of the preliminary work in this field has been done in the hippocampus, but I poropose to use the olfactory epithelium, because it contains both olfactory sensory neurons and nearby glial-like sustentacular cells, creating a a microenvironment which is ideal for communication. Through both calcium imaging and electrophysiological techniques, I plan to investigate the potential role of endocannabinoids in neuron-glial cross-talk in the olfactory epithelium as it relates to regeneration following injury due to relevant airborne toxicants.

Major Professor: Colleen C. Hegg, Pharmacology and Toxicology

Contact: hutchche@msu.edu