Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery and its Effects on Neurochemistry in Animal Models

Comparison of normal and high-fat diets. More green appears in the normal diet than the high-fat diet.

Assist in determining how diet and gastric bypass surgery changes the number of receptors in the brain. Students interested in neuroanatomy will perform image analysis for quantifying receptor expression in the rodent brain.

Project description

Our laboratory is interested in the behavioral and neurochemical consequences of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery. RYGB surgery is a successful method for combating obesity and has been shown to be effective for sustained weight loss, with improvements in obesity-related co-morbidities and decreased mortality rates. Although the surgery itself has helped people lose weight, some harmful side-effects have been observed. Increased consumption of addictive substances following the surgery have been seen, including cigarettes, alcohol, and opiates. Our lab has modeled this surgery in obese rats for the purpose of evaluating its effects on addictive behaviors as well as the consequent neurochemical changes. By observing what kinds of changes happen in the brain in rats undergoing these procedures, we can better understand, evaluate, and assist human subjects receiving this surgery. We are looking for undergraduate students who can assist with the image analysis involved in quantifying receptor expression in the rodent brain.

Project outcome

This project will provide students with the opportunity to write and submit abstract/posters as well as peer reviewed research papers.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Longer than a semester (6-9 months)
Start time Any time
In-person, remote, or hybrid?
Level of collaboration Small group project (2-3 students)
Benefits Academic Credit
Who is eligible All undergraduate students

Project mentor

Panayotis Thanos

Senior Research Scientist

Pharmacology and Toxicology

Phone: (716) 881-7520


Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  • Students will watch supplied training videos and learn more about the background of the project. We will provide several articles from our lab that are related to the project the student will work on.


Pharmacology and Toxicology