Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences

Date of Last Revision

2024-06-04 07:21:52


Biomedical Science

Honors Course

BIOL 499

Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2024


Understanding the impact of presynaptic and postsynaptic structures on synaptic strength, neurotransmission speed, and morphology is crucial. When cone photoreceptors transmit light-driven signals to cone bipolar cells, various presynaptic structural arrangements can be observed, featuring different numbers of synaptic ribbons. These ribbons facilitate faster initial excitation and sustained transmitter release as vesicles dock at ribbon synapses.

To investigate these structures, I will use the WEBKNOSSOS program to trace dendrites in vertebrate retinal images, determining the number of ribbon synapses and neuron types. This research, building upon the work of Dr. Wan-Qing Yu and Swanstrom, is expected to take about a month. The outcome will be a comprehensive paper outlining the methodology, findings, and implications of identifying neurons based on their synaptic arrangements, ribbons, and dendritic tracings.

This project enhances my college curriculum by providing hands-on research experience, consolidating knowledge in biology and neuroscience, and honing practical skills. It integrates insights into neurotransmission and synaptic functions, contributing to a holistic understanding of neuron function and structure.

Research Sponsor

Jordan Renna

First Reader

Qin Liu

Second Reader

Richard Londraville

Honors Faculty Advisor

Brian Bagatto

Proprietary and/or Confidential Information




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