Christina Lebonville

Christina is a fourth year PhD student in the Behavioral & Integrative Neuroscience program of Psychology & Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She loves brains and is particularly interested in how our immune function can be changed as a result of Pavlovian conditioning, a form of learning. She studies the neural mechanisms that cause this phenomenon - using tools like DREADDs, siRNA, RT-qPCR, conditioned place preference, nitrate/nitrite assays, ELISAs, IHC and ISH. In her sparse free time, she loves doing science outreach, hiking, video games, and watching movies with her husband, cat, and dog.

Articles by Christina Lebonville:

New-ISH on the Block: Introduction to RNAscope®

When sensitive detection of RNA is required, many scientists turn to qPCR as it is a versatile technique that can detect many different types of RNAs from mRNA, non-coding RNA, to microRNA. However, if you also require spatial information, like which cells are producing your RNA, the technology of choice has historically been in situ…

23 May 2018 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis&Microscopy and Imaging

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…

20 Jun 2017 Protein Expression and Analysis

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…

10 Apr 2017 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

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…

05 Dec 2016 Science Communication & Ethics

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…

24 Aug 2016 Personal Development