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Rachael’s Info

Picture of Rachael
  • Project Title: Effects of Lidocaine on NMDA Receptors
  • Class Year: 2018
  • Faculty Supervisor: Gabriela Popescu

Research experience at UB enabled Rachael’s excel in her career

My project, back in April 2014, focused on understanding the physiologic effects of lidocaine on NMDA receptors. The methods included expressing NMDA receptors in HEK 293 cells after being transfected with wild-type GluN1 and GluN2A plasmids, GFP, and bathed in MgCl2. To record single-channel currents, cell-attached patches were used. Whole-cell recordings were also performed, and the activity of NMDA receptors were assessed at increasing concentrations of lidocaine at various voltages. Results showed that single-channel recordings of 0.15 mM and 1.5 mM lidocaine have different effects on the NMDA receptor channels, but show an overall decrease in the channel’s open time, while whole-cell recordings revealed that lidocaine binding is voltage-dependent, showing a stronger affinity to binding to NMDA receptors at highly negative voltages. Based on these results, lidocaine acts as a channel blocker to prevent ion influx through the NMDA receptor, which sheds light on this anesthetic’s physiological effects on an individual.

“The University at Buffalo prepared me to be successful in a resident program at UPMC St. Margaret in Pittsburgh.”

In June 2018, I received my Doctorate in Pharmacy (PharmD) from the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Currently, I am a PGY1 Family Medicine/Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Resident at UPMC St. Margaret in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania completing a two-year residency/fellowship program. This two-year program incorporates several research projects and presentations in its curriculum, and I believe the University at Buffalo has prepared me to be successful in this rigorous program. The overall research experience during my undergraduate education has allowed me to gain an appreciation for the research process and helped to strengthen my resolve and dedication towards a project, even when faced with numerous roadblocks.

Last updated: October 16, 2018 7:24 am EST