What kinds of projects have our SMP students done?

Katie Grein '13 presents her SMP

Check out the database of past PsycSMP abstracts

Prospective PsycSMPs: A past student may have suggested a path for future research that you would like to follow!

Students can visit the College Archives (Calvert 009-ground floor) to read or view past St. Mary's Projects Mondays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (appointments recommended).

Access to a full SMP can depend on how a student completed a release form, but most SMPs can be read or viewed in the College Archives without restriction.

Electronic copies of SMPs are usually provided to faculty and staff upon request, but students are provided electronic copies of SMPs only with the permission of a faculty member.

Robert Blackwell

Blackwell, R. (2008, December). Cognitive deficits in beta-catenin knockout mice: an endophenotype approach to modeling bipolar disorder. *Poster presented at the 2008 annual meeting for the Society of Neuroscience.
Mentor: Dr. Anne Marie Brady


Lithium is currently the only novel pharmacological treatment for bipolar disorder. Developing novel medications is inhibited by the lack of a valid animal model for bipolar disorder. At therapeutic concentrations, lithium inhibits GSK-3, disinhibiting beta-catenin. Beta-catenin overexpression decreases immobility in the forced swim test (correlated with depressive behavior) and amphetamine induced hyperlocomotion (correlated with manic behavior), suggesting beta-catenin is involved in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder. A progressive beta-catenin knockout increased immobility time in the tail suspension test, but had no effect on immobility time in the forced swim test or hyperactivity, in male mice. The present study attempted to determine the validity of the progressive beta-catenin knockout model in female mice. Subjects had increased immobility time in the tail suspension test, but there was no effect of knockout on the forced swim test, baseline activity, or spatial working memory.

Read the paper (download the pdf)