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Decker Defends Ph.D. Thesis

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Amanda Decker successfully passed her Ph.D. examination on Thursday, October 8, 2015, in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. Her thesis title was "The role of the ion channel TRPM7 in dopaminergic neuron function". Members of her thesis committee were chair, Robert Cornell, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology; Amy Lee from the Department of Physiology, Toshi Kitamoto from the Department of Anesthesia and Tina Tootle and Andy Frank from the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology.

Dr. Decker's research centered around describing a novel role for TRPM7 in the brain using genetic manipulation of the zebrafish. Her research focused on the function of dopaminergic neurons, which are involved in learning and motivation in humans as well as devastating diseases such as Parkinson's. Dr. Decker received her B.A. from the University of Minnesota-Morris. After graduation, she worked as a research assistant at the University of Iowa Genome Editing Core Facility and began her studies in the Biosciences Program in 2009. She joined Dr. Robert Cornell's laboratory in 2010. Immediate future plans include teaching at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa.

Congratulations Dr. Decker!