Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Robyn's Thesis Song

Last week, I completed the first draft of my PhD dissertation. This got me nostalgic in thinking about my early grad school days. Way back when I was preparing for my qualifying exam, I created a rap version of my thesis project proposal. I'd been meaning to make a music video to go along with it, but I never got around to it (which is probably for the best). However, I DID want to share the song before I graduate. So here it is! The accompanying image is the wall diagram I used to organize my thesis project notes. Lyrics are below. Chickity check it out.

Rollin' with the Nigra*
(Robyn's Qualifying Exam in Hip-Hop Form)

* Backstory: This is about a brain area called the the substantia nigra pars reticulata, a.k.a. SNr, a.k.a. the nigra. The song is an accurate summary of all three aims of my thesis project proposal. But, as research often goes, this ended up not being my actual thesis project. 

When I say dopamine, you say you heard it all
But ya'll just lookin' at the terminals
But dendritic release in an area called
The SNR is where the money is, ya'll.

But what's that local dopamine do?

Someone's gotta get this shit straight. (But who?)
I'm Master J from the Toldog crew,
Droppin' beats from the LBC on you


Rollin' with the nigra
Reticulata fibers
Firin' up inside your head to make it possible to rock it all night

So first things first, basic properties

Of the STN EPSCs
From the AMPA/NMDA ra-ti-
-o, PPR, to the I to the V

Then we switch things up to be pharmaceutical

Hittin' up D1 and D2, little
Agonist here, little blocker too, it'll
Maybe cause a change in the amplitude, then we'll

Test if it's pre or post-synaptic

With the PPR, or for more exactness,
Minis. You know our rationale with this
And then we gonna bust mean variance analysis.


Next we do the same things for inhibition

Here we got a leg up on the competition
'cuz our optogenetics leaves them wishin'
They could hit striatal inputs with precision.

And the pallidus is another possibility.

GABAergic. (Yeah!) But will it be
Glycine too?  (Say what?) We'll see
Glycine might be released differentially.

When I say D2 you say "quinpirole!"

When I say D2 you say "sulpiride!"
When I say D1 you say "we don't know!"
They's some crazy-ass names, so neither do I.


Lastly Aim 3 is the culmination

Where we look at synaptic integration
Precision and rate and time of pacemakin'
Then we test dopamine modulation.

Yo NIH (holla!) this about disease!

Doctor J gonna help to cure PD
Gotta focus on something we can treat
'Cuz there ain't no cure for these sick beats.


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