This project will extend and deepen the new direction I initiated in the summer of 2012. Before then, my expertise was exclusively in the function and structure of single ion channel molecules in the nervous system. During Phase I, I obtained new expertise in cellular and behavioral neuroscience – how complex systems of nerve cells respond and regenerate after traumatic injury. My passion for laboratory research was rejuvenated and I obtained exciting preliminary data. Now, I propose to develop additional expertise in this new area, bring undergraduate assistants on board, and build more momentum to sustain my progress in this new direction for years to come. I propose to continue my research collaboration with Dr. Jennifer Morgan at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Dr. Morgan applies techniques in cell biology, microscopy, and computational biology to understand how lamprey spinal cord neurons survive, grow, and regenerate. MBL is a world-class scientific community that vibrates with scientific energy every summer and is a perfect environment to learn and explore. Based on the results from last summer, I hypothesize that spinal cord injury causes a down-regulation of sodium channel expression in lamprey spinal nerves and that this down-regulation is part of the molecular mechanism that allows lamprey nerves to regenerate. These hypotheses will be tested in a set of immunohistological, electrophysiological, biochemical, and behavioral experiments. This project will help me learn new experimental approaches in neurobiology and will help me develop ways to sustain this new research direction at my home institution.