Jaime Mancilla
Jaime Mancilla
Assistant Professor
(508) 929 8860 jmancilla@worcester.edu
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Areas of Expertise

I obtained a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the University of Chicago and have worked at Brown University and the University of North Carolina as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. My research has focused mainly on understanding how the brain processes sensory information. My published work includes sharp electrode recording studies in turtle visual cortex, dual patch clamp recordings in rodent somatosensory cortex, and patch clamp recording studies in auditory cortex and auditory brainstem of rodents.

Currently, I am interested in understanding how the nervous system of the freshwater turtle, Trachemys scripta, can survive under low oxygen conditions. Freshwater turtles spend the winters at the bottom of ice-covered lakes, surviving without oxygen (anoxia) during the winter months. This ability is unique to turtles and makes them ideal for studying the molecular mechanism of anoxia tolerance. Previous studies have shown that adenosine (a chemical used by cells in the brain) protects the brain by reducing spontaneous brain activity and therefore diminishes the brain’s use of energy to match the limited supply of energy in anoxic conditions. The molecular mechanism within cells that leads to the survival of cells after adenosine activation is largely unknown. Preliminary studies have proposed activation of different molecules, including members of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family, such as the extracellular signal-regulated kinase one and two (ERK1/2). My research aims to expand upon previous work by determining the role of intracellular messengers in the protective effect of adenosine activation using the visual system of the red-eared slider turtle, Trachemys scripta. Understanding the molecular mechanism of the protective effect of adenosine can provide valuable information for helping patients survive strokes and heart attacks, which are events in which cells are oxygen deprived (ischemic).

University of Maryland
B.S. in Zoology
University of Chicago
Ph.D. in Neurobiology
Brown University
Postdoctoral Research Associate
University of North Carolina
Postdoctoral Research Associate