2017 Undergrad Spotlights: Yizhen Zhang

Undergrad Research Spotlights
By Monica Albe & Shana Singh

Yizhen Zhang
Yizhen Zhang

Yizhen Zhang
Feller Lab, MCB-Genetics Sophomore, 2017

Professor Feller wanted to highlight Yizhen Zhang's contributions to the lab, "the retinas of young mammals contain several recently discovered types of neurons that detect light and mediate behavioral light responses before the classical rod and cone photoreceptor cells mature. Recently, our lab has found that these light sensitive neurons form an intricate set of connections with other neurons via direct cell-to-cell connections called gap junctions. Yizhen has so far mapped the gap junction connections made by a specific type of light sensitive neuron to other neurons in the retina. Based on this success, she will now work on mapping the gap junction connections of the other types of light sensitive neurons. The completed map will ultimately give us insight into the functional role of gap junctions in early light detection in the retina."

Zhang says of her lab experience, "I would not trade my experiences in the lab for anything else. Through the support of amazing mentors, I am constantly learning, and exploring."

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