Previous Lab News
2015 Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference
December, 2015: Congratulations to Ashley, Trevor, Joey and Blessy, all of whom had poster presentations at the NIU Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference last week! These students presented information on our ongoing research projects, including social stress, emotion, endocrine function, and cardiovascular function. Great job - we're very proud of them!
Welcome to Our 2015-2016 Research Rookie
December, 2015: Congratulations to Miranda, who is a new NIU student that has joined our lab this semester as part of the NIU Research Rookies program. Miranda will be assisting with our studies focused on the beneficial effects of exercise in the context of social stress. Miranda did a great job discussing the goals of this research project at the Research Rookies reception earlier this week!
Congratulations, Dr. McNeal!
February, 2015: Congratulations to Neal, who successfully defended his dissertation last week! Neal is the first student to receive his PhD in the Grippo Lab at NIU. His dissertation research focused on the role of serotonin in mediating the association of social stress, depressive behaviors, and cardiovascular dysfunction. We're proud of you, Neal!
Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference 2014
December, 2014: Congratulations to Matt and Ashley for their excellent presentations at the 6th Annual Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference! This conference attracted a very large audience, including several classes of high school students who came to learn about research. An extra congrats to Matt (and Josh, who created the poster), who won an award for his presentation at the conference!
Melissa Begins New Job at University of Colorado Hospital
November, 2014: Congratulations to Melissa, who is beginning a new job at the University of Colorado Hospital! She will be joining a new department, the Department of Research Administration. We're proud of you, Melissa!
Neal Awarded Dissertation Completion Fellowship
August, 2014: Congratulations to Neal, who has received the highly competitive NIU Dissertation Completion Fellowship! Neal's fellowship is awarded by the NIU Graduate School, and will allow him free time to finish his dissertation. Students in the Department of Psychology who receive these fellowships are among the top students in our department - congratulations to Neal on being part of this group of distinguished awardees!
Goodbye to Nalini and Elliott
August, 2014: Congratulations to Nalini and Elliott, who are leaving the Grippo Lab and moving on to bigger and better things! Nalini is entering training programs in counseling for trauma and domestic violence in preparation for graduate school, and Elliott is joining the Ph.D. program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. We wish them great success, and we will miss them!
Congratulations to Grippo Lab Students
May, 2014: Congratulations to Elliott, Nalini, Matt, and Ashley for finishing up the academic year with lots of honors and scholarships! Elliott was an Honors Scholar, and completed both the University and Department of Psychology Honors Programs. Nalini won the NIU Department of Psychology Dean's Award. Matt was awarded the Elizabeth J. Schwantes Undergraduate Scholarship. Ashley completed the Department of Psychology Honors Program and won the Psychology Department Outstanding Research/Scholar Award. We are proud of all of you for your wonderful achievements!
Experimental Biology Conference
May, 2014: Neal and Wil attended the annual Experimental Biology Conference in San Diego, CA. Wil presented a poster about our community outreach event at Amboy Elementary School, to celebrate Physiology Understanding Week, where we talked about science, the brain, and the heart with 4th graders. Neal gave an oral presentation and a poster presentation about our recent research focused on oxytocin mechanisms underlying social interactions and cardiovascular regulation in the prairie vole model.
NIU Undergraduate Research and Artistry Day
May, 2014: Ashley, Nalini, and Matt recently presented posters at the annual NIU Undergraduate Research and Artistry Day conference. This is an excellent event that highlights all of the great undergraduate research being conducted across campus. Nalini and Matt discussed our ongoing research focused on the benefits of exercise in protecting against social and environmental stress (in animals), and Ashley presented some research that she conducted with Dr. Barber's laboratory about counterproductive research participant behavior (in humans).
February, 2014: Josh, and several additional members of the Neuroscience and Behavior area, attended the annual AAAS meeting in Chicago, IL. Josh gave a poster presentation about his experiments using prairie voles to study the vicarious transmission of stress and the effects of social buffering on stress coping.
The Wide Wide World of Psychology
January, 2014: If you haven't seen it, check out the NIU Department of Psychology's blog, The Wide Wide World of Psychology. This blog is hosted by the online magazine Psychology Today. The topics vary, and include things such as stress, sleep, bullying, learning, and New Year's resolutions, among others. This month's article is about the benefits of exercise on the mind and body.
Winter Lab Celebration
December, 2013: We had a nice time celebrating the end of the semester together. Congratulations to everyone in the lab on a very productive year, including publications, presentations, and lots of hard work. We are sad to say goodbye to Ashley, who is graduating, but we are happy to see her move onto bigger and better things!
PhUn Week Amboy Central School Visit
November, 2013: Several students and faculty from the Grippo Lab and the Neuroscience and Behavior training area visited Amboy Central School to talk with 4th graders about the brain and the heart. Our visit was part of PhUn Week (Physiology Understanding Week), hosted by the American Physiological Society. This annual event spreads the word about science and physiology, and encourages young children to consider careers in science.
STEM Science Camp
Inspecting the brain
July, 2013: Several students and faculty gave demonstrations to high school science campers during their stay at NIU for the STEM Career Exploration Science Camp. The campers had a chance to learn about research on behavior, stress, and cardiovascular function in prairie voles, memory and spatial navigation in rats, and comparative brain anatomy. Thanks to Josh, Neal, Wil, and Elliott, and Dr. Doug Wallace for a great day of demonstrations!
Learning About the Brain
Cece & Will
June, 2013: We had a great time talking to aspiring young scientists, Will and Cece, who visited the lab recently. Will and Cece learned about the brain, including some of the experiments we have been conducting with prairie vole brain tissue. They had a chance to see prairie vole social interactions, inspect the brain under the microscope, and help Elliott prepare some tissue using the cryostat!
Goodbye to The Rachels
R. Murphy & R. Schultz
May, 2013: We are sad to say goodbye to Rachel Murphy and Rachel Schultz (The Rachels), but we are very excited that they are moving on to bigger and better things. Rachel Murphy is transferring to Penn State University to finish her undergraduate degree. Rachel Schultz has graduated and will soon begin the Master's in Counseling program at NIU. Congratulations!
NIU Undergraduate Research and Artistry Day
Elliott & Ashley
April, 2013: Congratulations to Ashley and Elliott for excellent presentations at the 4th Annual NIU Undergraduate Research and Artistry Day! We're proud of both of them, and an extra congrats to Elliott for winning an award at this conference! This conference, sponsored by the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning (OSEEL), highlights undergraduate research. Several pictures from the event have been posted on the OSEEL's Facebook Page. An article about the conference can be found on the NIU Today website.
Animal Behavior Conference
April, 2013: Several members of the lab recently attended the Animal Behavior Conference at Indiana University (Bloomington, IN). This conference is sponsored by the Indiana University Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior (CISAB). Congratulations to Ashley, Elliott, Rachel M, and Rachel S for their poster presentations at this conference, and an extra congrats to Elliott for winning 2nd place in the poster competition! Several pictures from the conference have been posted on the CISAB website.
New Blog Posts, The Wide Wide World of Psychology
April, 2013: The Department of Psychology at Northern Illinois University recently started a new blog via the online magazine Psychology Today. Our Wide Wide World of Psychology blog discusses several topical issues in the field. The latest article, written by Dr. Larissa Barber, is focused on the many benefits of sleep.
New Book, Inflammation in Psychiatry
March, 2013: A new book has been published, titled Inflammation in Psychiatry, edited by Angelos Halaris and Brian Leonard. This book discusses topics such as stress, depression, cardiovascular disease, and immune system function. Drs. Grippo and Scotti contributed a chapter titled "Stress and Neuroinflammation" for this book. You can read more about the book and order it from the Karger website.
The Wide Wide World of Psychology Blog
January, 2013: The NIU Department of Psychology has started a blog through the online magazine Psychology Today. The blog is titled The Wide Wide World of Psychology, and focuses on several topics related to current events in psychology. Our first post addresses the biological basis of why we prefer winning to losing, and was written by Drs. Grippo and Sagarin in the Department of Psychology. Stay tuned for additional posts, approximately once each month.
Valentine's Day Special on Love and Monogamy
February, 2013: In honor of Valentine's Day, our research collaborator and friend, Dr. Bruce Cushing, discusses love and monogamy in an online radio broadcast. You can hear the audio broadcast at this link; and you can also read further about this issue on the National Science Foundation (NSF) website.
Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference
Elliott, Rachel, & Ashley
December, 2012: Ashley Dotson, Elliott Ihm, and Rachel Murphy participated in the 4th Annual NIU Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference. Each presented a poster about some of our ongoing projects focused on social stress and behavior. Congratulations to each of them for excellent presentations! We are also proud of Elliott for being recognized with an Honorable Mention for his presentation, and Ashley for winning one of two Best Poster Presentation awards.
Grippo Lab Highlighted in the News
Rachel & Wil
October, 2012: Thank you to NIU Media Services for highlighting our lab in the news recently! A story about our recent research was posted on the NIU Today website. Congratulations to all current and previous Grippo Lab students for your hard work and dedication to our projects! (Thanks to NIU Media Services for giving us this picture!).
Grippo Lab Research on YouTube
October, 2012: The lab has received some media attention recently. Thanks to Andrea Azzo, who visited our lab to complete an assignment for her Broadcast Journalism class. She talked with us about our current research, and interviewed some of the students in the lab (including Elliott Ihm and Rachel Schultz). You can see the video that Andrea created at this YouTube link. Thanks also to the NIU STEM Outreach office, who highlighted some of our research in association with the NIU STEM Teen Read Program - which is a book club focused on helping teens learn about science, technology, engineering, and math. You can see the NIU STEM Outreach video at this YouTube link.
Welcome to our New Students
September, 2012: We would like to welcome to the lab our new students this year, including graduate student Wil Colburn, and undergraduates Elliott Ihm, Rachel Schultz, and Andrew Wegner. They join several of our returning lab members including Neal McNeal and Josh Wardwell (graduate students); Ashley Dotson, Nalini Jadia, and Rachel Murphy (undergraduate students); and Dr. Melissa-Ann Scotti (postdoctoral fellow). Pictures and biographies of our current lab members can be found here.
Congratulations to Stephanie on New Job
September, 2012: Congratulations to Stephanie, a previous Grippo Lab student who has been hired as a Mental Health Technician at the Indiana Regional Mental Health Center. We wish Stephanie success in her new position!
APA Distinguished Early Career Scientific Contribution Award
August, 2012: Dr. Grippo recently attended the American Psychological Association (APA) annual convention to accept a 2012 Distinguished Early Career Scientific Contribution to Psychology Award. You can read the award announcement here.
NIU STEM Cafe Outreach
June, 2012: Melissa was a speaker in the new NIU STEM Cafe outreach program, where she talked with individuals from the community about how social networking influences mood, emotion, and the brain. STEM Cafes are events where adults can get together in a casual environment to talk with STEM researchers about current topics in science.
Congratulations to Neal
Josh, Angela, Neal, & Melissa
May, 2012: Congratulations to Neal, who successfully defended his Master's thesis! Neal's thesis is titled "Short-term disruption of social bonds in prairie voles induces depression-relevant behaviors and altered autonomic regulation of the heart." You can read about his project on our Research page. We're proud of him!
2012 Undergraduate Research & Artistry Day
Christina and Rachel
April, 2012: Rachel and Christina attended the Northern Illinois University Undergraduate Research and Artistry Day conference to discuss some of our recent research on stress, social bonds, and hormones. Rachel's poster discussed the positive effects of social support on behavioral and endocrine responses to stress. Christina's poster discussed the role of oxytocin in mediating depressive behaviors following the disruption of social bonds. We are proud of both Rachel and Christina for their excellent presentations! Congratulations also to Christina for winning an Honorable Mention in the poster competition!
Experimental Biology Conference
Josh, Neal, Dr. Peuler, Dr. Grippo
April, 2012: Josh, Neal, and Dr. Grippo attended the Experimental Biology Conference in San Diego. Each poster presentation discussed our new research focused on social bonds, depression, and cardiovascular disease. Neal discussed his research on the negative behavioral, autonomic, and cardiac consequences of disrupting social bonds between male and female prairie voles. Josh discussed his research on the positive behavioral and cardiac effects of re-pairing male and female prairie voles after they have been separated. Congratulations to Josh and Neal for excellent presentations!
Neal's Presentation at the Animal Behavior Conference
Neal with his poster
April, 2012: Neal attended the 19th Animal Behavior Conference at Indiana University. This conference highlights interdisciplinary research focused on animal behavior in multiple species. Neal discussed his recent research investigating the role of the autonomic nervous system in mediating behavioral responses to social stress. Congratulations, Neal, on this excellent presentation!
Rachel's Research Highlighted in the News
February, 2012: Congratulations to Rachel, who was highlighted in the NIU newspaper, The Northern Star. The article discussed the research project that Rachel is conducting in our laboratory this year, as part of her participation the NIU Research Rookies Program. Her project is focused on investigating the protective role that social support plays in helping the body cope with stress.
Melissa Awarded NIH Fellowship
February, 2012: Congratulations to Melissa, who was awarded a Postdoctoral National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)! Melissa's fellowship is funded through the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute at NIH. Her project is focused on studying the interactions of oxytocin, stress, and cardiovascular function. More information about this project can be found on our Research page.
Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference
_December, 2011: Congratulations to Meagan and Christina, who each gave a presentation (scientific poster) at the 3rd Annual Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference held on December 2 at Northern Illinois University. This conference highlights research that is being conducted by the undergraduate psychology students in our department. Thanks, also, to the additional Grippo Lab members who contributed to these research projects and helped prepare the posters. A link to each poster presentation can be found on our Presentations page.
Illinois Brain, Behavior and Immunity Meeting
December, 2011: Several of the Grippo Lab members attended the 4th Annual Illinois Brain, Behavior and Immunity Meeting in downtown Chicago. This meeting brings together researchers and students from the field of psychoneuroimmunology- including people with interests in psychology, neuroscience, and immunology.
Rachel Participating in the NIU Research Rookies Program
November, 2011: One of our newest lab members, Rachel (freshman psychology major), is participating this year in the NIU Huskies Research Rookies Program. This program was instituted by the Office of Student Engagement at NIU, and is designed to offer new students an opportunity to get involved in research very early in the undergraduate career. Rachel has been working with our lab this fall, and during the spring semester she will begin work on her own research project focused on social bonding, stress, and depression. She will be investigating how male and female prairie voles respond to social isolation (or conversely social support) and exposure to mild stressors. Congratulations, Rachel, for participating in this important and exciting research program!
Danielle Beginning MSA Program at DePaul University
October, 2011: Congratulations to Danielle, a previous Grippo Lab member, who recently began a Master of Science in Accountancy program at DePaul University in Chicago. We wish her success in her training!
Highlighting Grippo Lab Research
October, 2011: Dr. Grippo just returned from Brazil, where she gave two presentations highlighting Grippo Lab research projects about depression and heart disease. One presentation was at the International Society for Autonomic Neuroscience Conference. The second was at the University of Sao Paulo- Campus de Botucatu, where she also met with many collaborators to discuss new ideas for projects involving both rodents and humans.
Parag Beginning MD Program at Xavier University
September, 2011: Congratulations to Parag, who has moved to Aruba to attend Xavier University School of Medicine. Parag will be pursuing a medical degree. We wish him success in his education and career!
STEM Science Fiction Teen Read Program
NIU STEM, SF Teen Read
August, 2011: Neal, Josh, Deirdre, and Dr. Grippo - along with a member of the NIU Business Program, local librarians, and the NIU STEM Outreach office - participated in a teen outreach program called Science Fiction Teen Read. We discussed the scientific and social implications of the book Feed (M.T. Anderson) with local high school students. Feed is a very interesting book about a futuristic society where the internet is directly connected to the human brain. After the discussion, the participants toured the neuroscience labs in our department - having an opportunity to see real brains and an experiment about learning and memory in rats.
Kristin Beginning MPH Program in Community Health Education
July, 2011: Congratulations to Kristin, who is moving to Carbondale, IL to begin graduate school. She will be pursuing a Master's of Public Health degree in Community Health Education at Southern Illinois University. Thanks to Kristin for her dedication to the Grippo Lab, and we wish her success in graduate school!
STEM Job Shadowing Program
Mr. Donahue, Ms. Jamison
June, 2011: The Grippo Lab sponsored two local teachers who were participating in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Job Shadowing Program. Ms. Jamison teaches math at Kellar Middle School (Robbins, IL), and Mr. Donahue teaches biology at Waubonsie Valley High School (Aurora, IL) and physiology at Waubonsee Community College (Sugar Grove, IL). Both teachers spent a week working with our lab members and helping us conduct experiments related to social experiences, depression and anxiety, and cardiovascular health. We hope to continue working with the NIU STEM Outreach office to highlight the value of science-related careers.
New Items on our Facebook Page
June, 2011: Check out our Grippo Lab Facebook Page for several new items, including descriptions of cutting-edge research and interesting websites. We also post news articles related to health and science, book suggestions, information about famous scientists, and biographies of our Grippo Lab members on this page. You can click on the Photos link to see several photo albums, as well as the Discussions link to see discussion topics focused on career and educational issues. We hope you enjoy the page!
Congratulations to Dr. Scotti for CBBS Travel Award
May, 2011: Dr. Melissa Scotti has been awarded a travel award from the Center for Biochemical and Biophysical Studies (CBBS) at NIU! Dr. Scotti won this award for her presentation at the recent Experimental Biology Conference in Washington, DC. Congratulations on a job well done!
2011 Undergraduate Research & Artistry Day
Loren & Meagan
April, 2011: Meagan and Loren attended the NIU Research and Artistry Conference, a large event to highlight student research that is being conducted on our campus. Meagan's poster presentation focused on the beneficial effects of environmental enrichment in isolated prairie voles, and Loren's poster presentation focused on our studies of stress and hormone regulation in male and female prairie vole partners. You can see copies of these posters on our Presentations page. Congratulations to both students for excellent presentations, and a special congrats to Loren for winning an award in the poster competition!
Experimental Biology Conference
April, 2011: Dr. Scotti and Dr. Grippo attended the Experimental Biology Conference in Washington DC. Each gave a presentation about our research focused on stress, emotion, and the cardiovascular system. Several organizations participate in the Experimental Biology Conference, including the American Physiological Society. They offer very useful information about research and career development on the APS trainee website.
Chicago Society for Neuroscience Meeting
March, 2011: Neal and Josh attended the Chicago Society for Neuroscience meeting, and each gave a poster presentation about research that we have been conducting recently. Congratulations on a job well done! The national Society for Neuroscience organization also has a lot of useful information on their website.
Our Latest Grippo Lab Publication
February, 2011: Check out our latest Grippo Lab publication on our Publications page. This study describes autonomic function and depressive behaviors in prairie voles exposed to different social experiences. Congratulations to all of the Grippo Lab members who contributed to this publication: Neal, Danielle, Meagan, and Sue! We also thank our collaborators from the University of Illinois at Chicago for their help with this study.
Illinois Brain, Behavior and Immunity Meeting
Neal, Melissa, Angela, Josh, Bill
December, 2010: Members of the Grippo Lab recently attended the 3rd Annual Illinois Brain, Behavior and Immunity Meeting, held at Loyola University in downtown Chicago. This is an interdisciplinary conference that brings together researchers and students to discuss the latest research on how psychology interacts with the immune system. The members of our lab were very active at this meeting: Melissa gave a presentation about our latest research, and Bill, Josh and Neal served as Chairs for some of the oral sessions!
Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting
Deirdre & Neal
November, 2010: Several members of the Grippo Lab went to the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego, CA. Neal and Deirdre both gave presentations, and they each did a great job! Neal discussed some of the research he is conducting for his Master's thesis project, investigating the disruption of social bonds in male and female prairie voles. Deirdre discussed her work in putting together our Grippo Lab website and Grippo Lab Facebook Page, describing the value of public outreach in neuroscience.
Neal Attends Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk
September, 2010: Neal went with members of Dr. Wallace's Lab to participate in a charity event for the Alzheimer's Association. The students and faculty participated in a Memory Walk- to raise money for Alzheimer's research. Congrats to the members of the Wallace Lab and the students who participated in this event; they raised over $500 for the Alzheimer's Association. You can find additional useful information on the Alzheimer's Association website.
Parag Begins Master's Program at IIT
September, 2010: Congratulations to our previous lab member, Parag, who graduated from NIU this past spring and has started a Master's program in Professional Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). For more information about IIT's master's programs, see this link.
Goodbye to Deirdre, Danielle and Bill
Danielle, Bill, and Deirdre
August, 2010: We are sad to be saying goodbye to our lab members, Deirdre, Danielle and Bill. However, we congratulate them on moving on to bigger and better things! Deirdre has started the PhD program in psychology at NIU; Danielle is moving to sunny California; and Bill is starting a Master of liberal arts program at the University of Chicago. We will miss them and wish them good luck in their new endeavors!
FASEB Summer Research Conference
J. Moffitt, A. Grippo, A. Sgoifo
August, 2010: Dr. Grippo recently attended a FASEB Summer Research Conference, focused on neural mechanisms in cardiovascular regulation. She gave a presentation about the research that the Grippo Lab has been conducting, and specifically our findings that social isolation is associated with depressive behaviors, dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, and cardiac arrhythmias. To read more about FASEB, including the many conferences that they sponsor throughout the year, see the FASEB website.
NIU Science Camp, Round 2
Members of the NAB area
July, 2010: The Grippo Lab was so popular with the 7th & 8th grade students that we were asked to give a tour to the high school Science Camp. The older students were more focused on learning about careers in science & enjoyed the opportunity to see what exactly scientists do in the workplace.
NIU Science Camp
June, 2010: This month the Grippo Lab gave demonstrations to 7th & 8th grade students who attended NIU's Science Camp for kids. We taught the campers about animal models, collecting data, behavioral testing, & even showed them real human brains! The tour of the Grippo Lab was a huge hit with the campers. To find out more about science camp or register for next year click here.
Experimental Biology Conference
From Mark Knuepfer, St. Louis Univ.
June, 2010: Dr. Grippo recently attended the Experimental Biology Conference in Anaheim, CA, to give a presentation about the technology that we have been using to study cardiovascular function in prairie voles. One of the scientific organizations that participates in this conference is the American Physiological Society (APS). You can find useful information about career development on the APS website.
Causes for Change International
June, 2010: One of our former lab members, Parag, will be spending a week in Ecuador to volunteer with Causes for Change International. Parag will be helping to provide dental assistance to children living in the villages of Ecuador. Congratulations to Parag for spending his free time participating in this important international program!
Society for Neuroscience, Chicago Chapter
April, 2010: The 2010 Scientific Meeting for the Chicago Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience was a great learning experience, as well as an excellent opportunity for networking. This meeting also encouraged the participation of students at all levels. Several topics were covered, from traumatic brain injury (TBI) to anxiety. The keynote speaker, Dr. Jeff Lichtman (Harvard University), was superb. He presented his material on "Connectomics in the Developing Nervous System" in a humorous manner that was able to hold the attention of everyone in the audience. You can read more about Dr. Lichtman’s research on his website: http://www.mcb.harvard.edu/faculty/faculty_profile.php?f=jeff-lichtman
Tori Attending Argosy University
February, 2010: Congratulations to our lab member, Tori, who was accepted into the Psy.D. program at Argosy University. For more information about this university, see this link: http://www.argosy.edu/colleges/ProgramDetail.aspx?id=971
Stephanie Attending Roosevelt University
February, 2010: Congratulations to Stephanie, one of our recent lab members, who has been accepted into the Clinical Professional Psychology M.A. Program at Roosevelt University. Congrats, Stephanie!
Sue Attending George Williams College
February, 2010: Congratulations to our lab member, Sue, who was accepted to the Social Work Program at George Williams College in Williams Bay, WI. This is a satellite campus of Aurora University. She will begin the three year program this fall. You can find more information about the program at their website.
January, 2010: First lab meeting of 2010! We discussed our upcoming experiments & met our two new members, Bill & Loren.
Brain Behavior & Immunity Conference 2009
December, 2009: Members of our laboratory attended the 2nd Annual Illinois Brain, Behavior, and Immunity conference hosted by Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois. This meeting was related to the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society (PNIRS), which is interested in the interactions of the immune system, the brain, and health. The conference hosted lectures from graduate students as well as Principal Investigators from neuroscience & immunology labs from around Illinois. The presentations gave us an overview of what labs in other universities in Illinois are researching. We learned about how stress can impact the cardiovascular system, how nutrition can help your immune system function more efficiently, and how animal models can be used to study neuroscience and immunology. The conference also included a lunch and dinner where junior scientists could begin working on their networking skills and start meeting some of the senior members in their areas of interest. We learned that networking and collaboration are important to furthering scientific research. Building relationships with scientists in other fields can bring about new research ideas and lead to fascinating new discoveries that may not have come about without such collaboration.
Dr. Grippo Wins 2009 APA Award
November, 2009: Dr. Grippo Wins American Psychological Association Health Psychology Award. See this link (http://www.health-psych.org/Awards2009.cfm) for a description of Dr. Grippo's recent Division 38 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Health Psychology.
Stephanie Inducted into Psi Chi
October, 2009: Congratulations to Stephanie Allen, who was inducted into Psi Chi this semester. Psi Chi is the international honor society in psychology. In order to be inducted into the organization, one must obtain a certain amount of psychology credit at their university and must also meet GPA requirements; at both the university level and in their psychology courses. Members participate in service, fund raising, and social activities. The organization also prepares students for graduate school along with providing advice and guidance for students who are going to be looking to begin their careers in psychology.
Society for Neuroscience (SFN), 2009 Convention
(Photo thanks to www.sfn.org/am2009)
October, 2009: Deirdre attended the SFN Convention on October 20th & 21st. About 32,000 scientists, graduate students, and others interested in neuroscience attended this year. The 5 day convention hosted lectures, symposia, and thousands of poster presentations from universities all over the United States and even some from foreign countries. Topics included cognition & behavior, drug addiction, sensory & motor systems, disorders of the nervous system, homeostatic & neuroendocrine systems, genetics, and many others. (Below you can download the poster that Deirdre was involved in at the convention.)
Searching with fingers and feet: Distance and direction estimation in non-visual spatial tasks. Raines JR, Wagner SJ, Jones JL, Patel AN, Winter SS, Clarke D, Wallace DG.
October, 2009: We got to know new members and discussed our upcoming research projects over delicious doughnuts (Thank you Sue!).
Sue Working on Trauma and Alcohol Abuse Link
September, 2009: Sue Bates is conducting a study to investigate trauma and alcohol use in humans. The hypotheses of this study are: (a) increased trauma history creates increased alcohol consumption, (b) increased distress creates increased alcohol consumption and (c) trauma history will mediate the relationship between current distress and drinking. The results of this study will be very interesting in the context of the research that the Grippo Lab is conducting on environmental stress and emotion.
Tori Working at Lutheran Social Services of Illinois
September, 2009: Tori McDaniel started a new job at Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) in Nachusa, IL, working as a residential treatment specialist implementing treatment plans for troubled youth. Tori will be pursuing a degree in clinical psychology and her new job is a great opportunity for her to gain experience treating adolescents in group and individual settings. She loves her new job and feels that it is excellent work experience.
Dr. Grippo Discusses Ongoing Research in Australia
Dr. Grippo in Australia
September, 2009: Dr. Grippo gave two presentations in Australia about the research projects that we are currently conducting in the Grippo Laboratory. She discussed that oxytocin - a chemical that is produced in the brain - plays a very important role in helping the body respond to stress. She presented results showing that if isolated prairie voles receive extra oxytocin, they do not experience many of the adverse consequences of social isolation (that is, oxytocin might protect prairie voles, and humans, against behaviors related to depression, altered brain chemicals, and cardiovascular dysfunction). All members of the Grippo Lab were recognized in these presentations, and they were thanked for their hard work!
Dr. Grippo Gives Presentation at Drake University
September, 2009: Dr. Grippo recently visited Drake University (Des Moines, Iowa), which is where she completed her B.S. degree, to give a presentation in the Life After Drake seminar series. She discussed her career path, including how Drake contributed to this path. She also discussed her current position at NIU, and the research that is being conducted in the Grippo Laboratory- focusing on how animal models can be used as a tool for studying the interactions of stress, emotion, and the heart.