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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:

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…

RNA in situ hybridization - Human Melanoma FFPE Tissue Section (KRT5 and Housekeeping Gene)
14 Jan 2019 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

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…

New-ISH on the Block: Introduction to RNAscope
23 May 2018 Microscopy and Imaging&DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

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

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…

02 Aug 2016 Genomics and Epigenetics

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.…

sensitive qPCR
21 Jul 2016 PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR

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…

science outreach
09 Jul 2016 Career Development & Networking&Personal Development
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