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Soojin Ryu: Using Zebrafish to Understand Stress

Using Zebrafish to Understand Stress While critical for survival and coping in fluctuating environment, prolonged exposure to stress compromise animal’s functions. We are interested in understanding how stress hormones shape animal’s behaviour including the ways in which prolonged stress exposure leads to behavioural dysfunctions. We use zebrafish as a model organism which provides superb experimental access to dissect the relationship between stress exposure and phenotypic outcomes. Our research centers around the key stress hormones produced by our body’s main stress response system, the Hypothalamo-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis. The HPA axis coordinates diverse aspects of stress response in all vertebrates and the hormones produced by the HPA axis are remarkably conserved throughout vertebrate kingdom. Using optogenetic and genetic targeting, we have developed a zebrafish model with which we could manipulate both acute and long term stress exposure precisely. I will discuss in this

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