Nick Jury is a Postdoctoral researcher in the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Studying in the Laboratory of Behavioral & Genomic Neuroscience, Nick is looking at the differences of alcohol abuse in males and females.
0:17 So I'm Nick Jury and we're in the Laboratory and Behavioral and Genomic
0:21 Neuroscience... Andrew Holmes' lab at the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and
0:30 So I study the brain
0:31 and alcohol abuse, but specifically between males and females.
0:35 So I grew up in the Midwest. I'm from Illinois...
0:38 proud Illini. I think what really got me interested in science and in...
0:44 in exploring research was my grandfather. My grandfather
0:49 was always tinkering around in the basement with either some electronic
0:53 piece or woodworking. I think the defining moment for me was
0:59 I was working in an undergrad lab and we were working on this really complex
1:04 issue...problem...and we got the answer we were looking for
1:08 and my advisor at the time...we kind of high-fived each other
1:11 and that was kind of the "aha" moment
1:14 that it's like, "Oh...Okay I think I could I can see myself doing this
1:18 for the remainder of my career." On a day to day basis
1:22 I have male and female subjects that receive chronic exposure to alcohol.
1:27 And I then look at their brains for different
1:31 markers...different things that may tell us about their behavior
1:35 or about their propensity to become addicted. So I've got two different
1:38 slices that I've taken
1:40 from the brain. What I'm looking at...as I'm looking at the
1:44 little projections off of the dendrite, and these are called spines.
1:48 And what we're looking for is
1:51 either the presence or absence of these dendrites...the
1:55 structure...we're looking for either a disruption of the structure. So this is normal
1:59 and as you can see as we look at the
2:02 gene knocked out...this dendrite has some
2:06 abnormalities in it based on the genotype. So I use a microscope to look at
2:14 the brain and look at different
2:17 changes that we might see in the brain to determine
2:21 what the alcohol's doing to the brain.
2:46 The wild type animals, the normal animals are responding
2:50 differently than the animals with the gene knocked out
2:54 because of the alcohol. So the alcohol is having a
2:58 much more of a worse impact on this neuron
3:01 verses the normal animal. And this is relevant to look at this
3:06 because this gene is thought to be involved in decision making
3:11 in different parts of the brain. And you know we all make decisions on
3:14 whether we're going to abuse alcohol.
3:16 This could be very relevant in the human condition.
3:27 It's always what's the next question. Where...where is it going?
3:30 And sometimes it's hard to decide because there's so many different
3:33 directions that can go in.
3:35 But that's exciting. That's what science is. You answer the question and then
3:37 it's like a fork in the road. Do you go left? Do you go right?
3:40 Where...where does it lead? And it's just a constant
3:43 multiplication of that. The fact that we're involved in research that may
3:47 potentially lead to treatment or cures is just...it's just amazing.
3:50 You get the result from the experiment and it kind of leads you into several
3:55 different directions and I'm constantly talking with every...
3:58 everyone in the lab...you know...sharing data.
4:10 There's a lot of work to be done but
4:11 it's always nice to be able to share
4:13 in the results with other people. Figure out what you're interested in
4:17 and volunteer. We get to do things that not everyone gets to do every day. We get
4:21 to answer questions that
4:22 are hopefully clinically relevant to the human condition and not everyone can say
4:27 that every day.