Gerard M. J. Beaudoin, III, Ph.D.
- Associate Professor , Biology
As an undergraduate at Trinity University, I became interested in how our minds work, but wondered which scientific field best addressed this question. Neuroscience is studied by scientists from all possible disciplines. I share this interdisciplinary view of science in teaching the introductory Biology course, Integrative Biology, and in my upper division, Biology elective and Neuroscience major course, Neurobiology.
My research lab adopts this same philosophy, using a variety of disciplines to study dopamine neurons, the neurons critical for learning motivated behavior. We study the effects of cocaine on the structure and function of synapses on dopamine neurons. However, we see and stimulate neurons from disparate brain areas using light, via a technique called optogenetics.