Christina is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC, USA. She studies the neurobiological mechanisms at the intersection of stress and alcohol use disorder in mouse models. She completed her Psychology PhD in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. She loves brains and is particularly interested in understanding how proteins and circuits are changed with stress and drugs of abuse exposure by using tools like fiber photometry, DREADDs, RNA interference, RT-qPCR, conditioned place preference, nitrate/nitrite assays, ELISAs, IHC, and ISH. In her sparse free time, she loves hiking, video games, and watching movies with her husband, cats, and dog.

Articles by Christina Lebonville

Are You In(to) Situ? – Putting Together Your First RNAscope® Assay

Are You In(to) Situ? – Putting Together Your First RNAscope® Assay

You are thinking of trying out RNAscope®. After all, RNAscope® holds promise for increasing the sensitivity and specificity of your in situ hybridization. Yet, getting started can be a little overwhelming with the numerous kits and reagents available in the RNAscope product line. Here’s an overview of your options to help you navigate to the…

Introduction to DREADDs – Control Over G Protein Coupled Receptor GPCR signaling

Gee, Protein, What Do You Do? Manipulation of a system under investigation is the backbone of experimentation. A new tool called Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) allows us to hijack cell signaling and study cell function within living organisms. Like its cousin technique, optogenetics, DREADD technology uses a viral vector to introduce…

Quantifying & Assessing RNA: TE or not TE?

Quantifying & Assessing RNA: TE or not TE?

Red Pill or Blue? Carrying out science often involves many difficult decisions! I see it all the time in RNA protocols – the “gracious” option of using purified water or Tris-EDTA (TE) buffer to dissolve (or elute, if you are using column purification) RNA. When I was trained in assessing RNA using UV spectrophotometry, graduate…

Reaching Out – How to Get Started in Science Outreach

Reaching Out – How to Get Started in Science Outreach

Science outreach is a great way to energize yourself to work better at the bench. If you are curious about doing outreach and want to know how to get the ball rolling, I can suggest places to look for people and events to connect with. Like a knitted sweater, you only have to find one…

Reframing – A Way to Cope With Stress in Graduate School

Reframing – A Way to Cope With Stress in Graduate School

I’m an anxiety-ridden stress ball 90% of the time. Graduate school only amplifies my nervous energy, and it’s a struggle. However, recently, while I rushed to catch a bus, I had a life altering experience using a mental technique called “reframing” From “Flipping Out” to Flipping the Switch to “Cool” It rained heavily. I balanced…

RNA-seq: The Challenges to Diving Right In

RNA-seq: The Challenges to Diving Right In

It’s the hot new technique. With a single procedure, you can get information about all RNA transcripts at once! It sounds like a dream. While RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) has opened the door to exciting new questions, scientists interested in pursuing this technique should be aware of the roadblocks ahead of them. While RNA-seq can be…

SPUD’s Your Bud When it Comes to Sensitive qPCR

SPUD’s Your Bud When it Comes to Sensitive qPCR

There’s piloting a brand new technique for the first time. Then, there’s jumping through hoops trying to get an established lab technique to work. The former, in contrast to the latter, is expected to be fraught with hardships. Yet troubleshooting an old lab technique that isn’t working anymore, is frustrating at a whole new level….

Five Ways Science Outreach Can Benefit Your Benchwork!

Five Ways Science Outreach Can Benefit Your Benchwork!

You’ve had a rough day at the bench, putting in long, grueling hours with no pay-off. Your fantasy of running away to join the circus starts sounding rational. The last thing on your mind is to add to your already overloaded schedule. Yet as crazy as it sounds, participating in science outreach really improved my…