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Students nab prize for work on “hunger hormone”

Peckish? Ghrelin is probably flooding your hypothalamus right now.

A trio of Reed psych majors won a prize at a scientific conference last month for their research into ghrelin—sometimes known as the “hunger hormone.”

Biochem major Eliotte Garling ’18, bio-psych major Lia Zallar ’16, and psych major Hannah Baumgartner ’16 won the Neuroscience/Psychology Poster Prize at the 24th annual Murdock College Science Research Program held in Vancouver, WA, for their research into the mechanisms by which ghrelin affects appetite, metabolism, stress, and reward signaling.

Working with Prof. Paul Currie [psych], the students performed a series of experiments on rats to investigate the effects of ghrelin when injected into different parts of the brain.

Study Dashes Bucket of Cold Water on Psychologists

Reed psych major Melissa Lewis ’13 was one of the authors of a groundbreaking study on reproducibility published in the journal Science.

A massive study by 270 researchers, including three Reed psychologists, underscores one of the key challenges facing scientists today: Just how far can you trust scientific research published in professional, peer-reviewed journals?

According to this project, you should take it with a chunk of salt.

The study, published today in Science, set out to examine a core principle of scientific research: the property of reproducibility. Two different researchers should be able to run the same experiment independently and get the same results, whether the field is astrophysics or cell biology. These results form the basis for theories about how the world works, be it the formation of stars or the causes of schizophrenia. Of course, different scientists may offer competing explanations for a particular result—but the result itself is supposed to be reliable.

Psych prof wins $73K NIH grant to study alcoholism

Prof. Kristen Anderson [psychology 2007-] won a $73,000 grant from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism, a division of the National Institutes of Health, to fund two years of a study entitled, “Facilitating Adolescent Self-Change for Alcohol Problems.”

The objective of Prof. Anderson’s research is to enhance understanding of the role gender plays in outcomes from an adolescent alcohol prevention program.

In adults, gender differences in substance use patterns and consequences have led researchers to explore whether gender-specific treatments for women are preferable. Research indicates that women-specific groups lead to greater treatment satisfaction.