Srimal Samarnayake
Graduate Student

I joined Dr. Parastoo Hashemi’s lab in 2012, and I was fascinated about her interdisciplinary research studies that employ a unique set of tools to comprehend important neurochemical and environmental problems. During my first two years in graduate school, I strengthened my knowledge in neurochemistry. I’m pleased that I won a variety of awards to attest to my devotion to my research, namely the Thomas C. Rumble University Graduate Fellowship (Wayne State University-WSU) and the Hoechst Graduate Fellowship (University of South Carolina-USC). In the Hashemi lab, I have learnt various electrochemical tools to monitor real-time neurotransmitters (serotonin, histamine, and dopamine) in living organisms and heavy metals in different environmental systems. More specifically, I’m interested in the coregulation of in vivo neurotransmitters during mood disorders like depression. I developed a novel electrochemical method to study real-time in vivo histamine and serotonin neuromodulation using fast-scan cyclic voltammetry. This innovative and robust method has illustrated more information about the complex neurochemistry of these two chemical messengers and their roles in brain disorders. Moreover, I used this electrochemical technique to measure real-time in vivo dopamine neurotransmission addressing individual differences in motivation.

The research I have performed in the Hashemi lab has guided me through 4 publications and one of them is highlighted as the front cover in Analyst. I have always enjoyed presenting my research work at professional conferences and I’m delighted that I won three seminar awards at the local ANACHEM meeting (Michigan), WSU Graduate Symposium (university-wide competition) and in the Annual Neuroscience Retreat 2016 (USC).     

In the future, I’m thrilled to expand my chemistry and neuroscience knowledge through various studies of membrane signaling proteins and their molecular level interactions, with the aim of improving therapeutic strategies for brain disorders.

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