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Windy McNerny

Download Windy’s CV here:  McNernyCV

M. Windy McNerney received her bacheor’s degree from UC Davis in 2003, and her masters from the University of Notre Dame in 2006. She is expecting to earn her Ph.D. in 2012.
Windy’s research interests involve investigating the neuroscience of memory consolidation from the single cellular level, up to the human cognitive level. This research stems from collaboration across the psychology, biology and engineering departments.
At the single cellular level, Windy is interested in the time course of nitric oxide production during long-term potentiation. LTP is the strengthening of synaptic signaling between neurons that is thought to underlie memory formation, and nitric oxide plays an important role in the signaling cascades of LTP. This is accomplished through whole-cell patch clamp recordings of neurons in cultures while imaging fluorescent signals from a nitric oxide tracer.  At the level of brain tissue, Windy is conducting research about the effects of the neurosteroid allopregnanolone on long-term potentiation, in brain slices from the frog, Xenopus leavis. From a human cognitive level, Windy is investigating the effects of exercise on memory consolidation.
Windy also interned at NASA for three summers, working on unmanned aircraft interface design, and using differential equations to model Blackhawk flight patterns. This research resulted in a minor in quantitative psychology, awarded to Windy by the quantitative faculty in the Psychology Department of Notre Dame.
Windy feels very passionately about drawing undergraduates into the excitement of neuroscience and research by teaching in the classroom and mentoring students in the lab.  She has been the instructor of record twice for a physiological psychology class, and has assisted in teaching both undergraduate and graduate level statistics. She has mentored several students in biology, psychology, and engineering research. Most of these students either went on to medical school or graduate school in a neuroscience-related field.

UPDATE!  Windy received her PhD from Notre Dame in May 2012.  Congratulations, Windy!  Windy has a post-doctoral fellowship at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.