Taiwo Alonge

Taiwo Alonge
Mentor: Dr. Habibeh Khoshbouei
College of Medicine
"I got involved in research because I believe it is an absolutely necessary activity that anyone who wishes to obtain a career in health should partake in. Just think about it: medicine would not exist without research but research still exists without medicine. That alone should be enough to help people realize that the field of medicine is very much intertwined with research. Moreover, I find research very interesting and the prospect of discovering something great was more than enough to have me hooked."

Major

Biology (Pre-professional)

Minor

N/A

Research Interests

  • Addiction
  • Neurodiseases
  • Neuroscience

Academic Awards

  • University Scholars Award
  • Dean's List
  • Omega Psi Phi Scholarship

Organizations

  • Streetlight
  • Florida Cicerones
  • Neuroscience Club

Volunteer

  • Streetlight
  • Shands Volunteer
  • Alzheimers Outreach

Hobbies and Interests

  • Listening to Music
  • Lifting Weights
  • Playing Basketball
  • Hanging out with Friends

Research Description

Does the Sigma-1 Receptor Influence the Trafficking of the Dopamine Transporter after Exposure to Methamphetamine?

From a broad stance, my proposed research project will deal with the neurotoxin methamphetamine (meth) and its effects on two proteins found within/on neurons: the dopamine transporter (DAT) and the sigma-1 receptor. Meth is a hazardous psychostimulant that was initially used for the treatment of ADHD (Desoxyn) but is now rarely prescribed due to the potential risks associated with it. Unfortunately, as with the case of other narcotics, meth began being sold illegally, abused, and used for recreation because of its ability to act as an aphrodisiac and mood lifter. The main concern regarding its existence outside of pharmacy shelves and medicine cabinets is its addictiveness and life-threatening effects. Through readings and preliminary research, we have found that meth acts on both DAT and sigma-1 receptor. With that said, we can determine whether activation or over-expression of the sigma-1 receptor influences meth-mediated changed in DAT trafficking. Regulation of DAT at the plasma membrane is essential because from it we can gain an understanding about meth’s effects on it and more importantly people as a whole.