Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis campus only



First Advisor

Gerard Beaudoin

Second Advisor

Kah-Chung Leong

Third Advisor

Kwan Cheng


We identify three routes in which we can advance the field of neuroscience’s ability to model increasingly complex systems. We identified and reviewed the in vitro neuronal model of HT22 cells, while also offering the field a comprehensive and optimized culturing protocol to produce a matured in vitro model. We also identify a novel optogenetic construct and neural circuitry labeling technique that will base their in vitro modeling within the established HT22 differentiation protocol we present. The constructed optogenetic construct can facilitate dual input recording within the Mesolimbic excitatory neurons, advancing the reach of optogenetic evaluation in the context of the Beaudoin Lab as well as the field at large. The proposed neurocircuitry method also advances the Beaudoin Lab’s interest in reward circuitry, as we propose a Notch-Cre and Delta-based mechanism that can ultimately facilitate structural and functional mapping within one experiment without neurotoxicity. Ultimately, we extend the utility of the labeling method to encompass more complex field-wide interests of circuit-specific knock-ins or knock-outs in an immensely efficient and regulated fashion. We detail three novel and distinct models with dual utility for the Beaudoin lab and the field.