Physiology Graduate Student Spotlight - Meet Allison Do

Alison is originally from France and she pursuing her PhD degree under the supervision of Dr. Jesse Jackson.

26 April 2019

Alison is originally from France. She is in the 1st year of her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Jesse Jackson.

Allison Do

Where are you from, year of study and program, lab...?
I am originally from France. I am pursuing my PhD under the supervision of Dr. Jesse Jackson, and currently in my 1st year of the program.

How would you describe your research?

My research aims at understanding the role of the claustrum in anxiety-related behaviors. Using in vivo electrophysiology and behavioral anxiety assays, I am investigating how the claustrum communicates with other well-known anxiety-related structures to affect mice behaviour.

What inspired you to pursue your current research?

In general, I want to know more about how our brain works, how different parts interact with each other, and how activity in brain regions alters our behaviour. Why anxiety? Well, my master's research project was also focused on the anxiety circuit. I guess what inspired me to pursue this topic were all the conversations I had with my master's supervisor and all the papers I read. I'm actually very fortunate in that I also became inspired from my current supervisor's work (Jesse). When I first got the opportunity to meet him, just talking with him about his projects sparked my curiosity and motivated me to come up with new research questions that I had not previously considered. It sounds very simple, but those initial conversations are what pushed me in the research direction I'm currently pursuing.

What impact(s) will your research have outside of your lab?

In a fundamental science point of view, we hope to fill gaps 1) in our comprehension of the phenomenon of anxiety and 2) in our understanding of the claustrum function. This study could also inspire future translational research by pointing out a new target for therapeutic strategies.

What advice would you give to someone that is just starting graduate studies?

I would like to say "Never give up" and remember that negative results are also results.

What is your favorite place/thing to do here at the UofA or in Edmonton?

I'm going to sound nerdy but I want to say the lab because there is a really great atmosphere. I also enjoy discovering new brunch places and bars with my roommate.