Laura Gainey


Laura Gainey 
BS, Chemistry
University of Oklahoma 
Norman, OK 
MD, PhD Student in Neuroscience
Maribel Rios, PhD, Adviser




Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) has been found to be important for both homeostatic and hedonic forms of feeding behavior. Previous work from the Rios lab has shown that deletion of BDNF specifically from the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA), a part of the brain that is involved in hedonic reward, causes mice to overeat when placed on a high fat diet, but not on standard chow. My thesis research examined the role of BDNF and its downstream partners in the rewarding effects of highly palatable food with the goal of increasing our understanding the brain's role in obesity.

I am now completing the fourth year of medical school.

Apply to the MSTP via AMCAS