Two students in the St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) biology department recently got individual funding for their research on the fast-acting antidepressant L-655,708.
Seniors Marilyn Stewart, a biology major, and Max Madden, a double major in biochemistry and psychology, received funding through the scientific research honor society Sigma Xi and the international psychology honor society Psi Chi, respectively, according to the SMCM Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.
The two students are conducting the antidepressant research, which will be used for their St. Mary’s Projects, with Psychology Professor Aileen Bailey.
According to SMCM Newsroom, “Stewart’s grant will be used to support immunohistochemistry and Madden’s grant will be used to support drug delivery.”
The students are using rats as their test subjects, researching the effects of the anti-depressant on synapse strength within neurons in the brain. The study was approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. Steyert is hopeful that L-655,708 may be suitable for human use in the future, given the rapid neurological changes seen in rat test subjects.
Following their graduation, both students intend to pursue graduate programs to further their education.