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Brennen O'Rourke

Brennen O'RourkeEducation:

Education: Georgetown University, B.S. in Neurobiology with a minor in Mathematics (2013)
PhD Advisor: Pamela Knapp, PhD
Graduate Program: Neuroscience


Research Interests:

Brennen's research experiences are diverse and range from behavioral neurological studies of rodents at Georgetown to electrophysiological work with GPCRs at VCU. As an undergraduate, Brennen investigated the pro-cognitive potential of the neurotransmitter, N-acetylaspartylglutamate, on learning and memory in mouse models of schizophrenia. Most recently, she studied the signaling mechanisms of beta-adrenergic GPCRs in oocytes measured through ion currents of reporter potassium channels. Her primary interest lies in neuroscience and the molecular basis of neurodegenerative disease.

Personal Bio:

Having grown up traveling between Charlottesville and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Brennen harbors a love of the outdoors and exploring new trails. Her favorite hiking spots include Hurricane Ridge in Washington, the Flatirons in Colorado, and the mountains of Chiang Mai, Thailand (as a result of a disastrous mountain biking incident-turned hike). She also has a passion for rowing and enjoys introducing others to the sport, having co-founded and coached a high school crew team in Richmond. Brennen is a miserable cook, so instead of trying, she spends her free time painting, running, biking, and, most recently, learning to climb.

Abstracts, Posters, and Presentations:

Olsewski RT, Janczura KJ, Bzdega T, Der EK, Venzor F, O’Rourke B, et al. (2017). NAAG peptidase inhibitors act via mGluR3: Animal models of memory, Alzheimer’s, and ethanol intoxication. Neurochemical Research, 1-12.